A pair of freshmen helped the Janesville Bluebirds end a three-game losing skid Tuesday night.
Ian Perkins’ even-strength goal at 10:08 of the third period on an assist from fellow freshman Jake Schaffner was the game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Madison Memorial in a Big Eight thriller at the Janesville Ice Arena.
The city’s high school boys co-op team improved to 2-3 overall and evened its conference record at 2-2.
Janesville coach John Mauermann said his young team needed the win after struggling last week.
“We played a lot of kids, and with 1:50 left and up by a goal, I look on the ice, and we have three freshmen out there,” Mauermann said. “But that’s where we’re at right now, so it was good to see us hang on and get the win.
“We used two goalies tonight, and they both challenged each other.
“As a team, I definitely think we gained some confidence tonight.”
Memorial (1-6, 1-3) struck first with a power-play goal at 5:56 of the second, but Janesville tied it less than four minutes later on Lucas Vogt’s power-play goal.
The Bluebirds took a 2-1 lead after two periods on Schaffner’s backhander at 15:55 of the second. AJ Russotto assisted on the power-play goal.
Memorial tied the game early in the third, but Perkins got his game-winner on a nifty pass from Schaffner.
Freshman Jaicy Campbell picked up the win in relief of starter Cody Kaas.
Both goalies played well, finishing with a combined 19 saves.
Janesville hosts Kenosha on Thursday before playing at Beloit Memorial in a Big Eight game at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“We talked about how we had a chance to go 3-0 this week, but in order to do that, we had to win the first one tonight,” Mauermann said. “It was a good start to the week.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I don’t care what the record might say, it’s always tough to beat a Madison Memorial team.
JANESVILLE 3, MEMORIAL 2
Madison Memorial 0 1 1—2
Janesville 0 2 1—3
M—Oscar Pitz (Owen Parks), pp, 5:56. J—Lucas Vogt (Cayden Erickson) 9:38. J—Jake Schaffner (AJ Russotto), pp, 15:55
M—Derek Buckalew (Sam Knight, Aaron Jungers) 4:10. J—Ian Perkins (Schaffner) 10:08
Saves—Tyler Kreft (M) 24, Cody Kaas (J) 5, Jaicy Campbell (J) 14