Friday’s game between the Janesville Jets and the Minnesota Magicians featured plenty of big hits, goals and even a broken pane of plexiglass.
The one thing it didn’t feature was a Jets win as the host Magicians opened the weekend series with a 3-2 win from Richfield Ice Arena.
Janesville (23-9-2-0) had a six-game winning streak snapped. Minnesota (17-16-2-1) sits two points back of third-place Springfield in the NAHL’s Midwest Division.
Cullen McCabe’s first goal of the season opened the scoring for the Magicians just over a minute into the game.
The Jets responded with a Brenden McLaren tally before the Magicians jumped ahead once more.
Kyler Grundy deposited the puck for the Magicians to take a 2-1 lead after one period of play. Minnesota’s Ethan DeStefani scored the game winner at 2:51 of the final frame.
Jakov Novak scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season with eight minutes to play, but the Jets couldn’t complete the comeback. Novak’s goal puts him in a tie for third in the NAHL in goals.
In his first start with the team, Minnesota goalie Conor Kiaers slammed the door shut on the Jets multiple times, recording 38 saves and earning the game’s first star. Jets goalie Daniel Lebedeff stopped 25-of-28 in the loss.
The game had to be stopped late in the second period to repair a broken pane of glass, the result of a collision between two players.
Game two of the series takes place tonight in Minnesota.
MINNESOTA 3, JANESVILLE 2
Janesville 1 0 1—2
Minnesota 2 0 1—3
M—Cullen McCabe (Ethan DeStefani), 1:13. J—Brenden MacLaren (TJ Polglaze), 10:41. M—Kyler Grundy. 12:46.
M—DeStefani (Arturus Laukaitis, McCabe), 2:51. J—Jakov Novak (Kip Hoffmann), 11:51.
Saves—Daniel Lebedeff (J) 25, Conor Kiaers (M) 38.