A four-goal second period boosted the Janesville Bluebirds on Monday, giving the city’s boys hockey co-op a nonconference victory to open a grueling week.
Conor Joyce, Ben Coulter and Cullen Peterson each scored and Cody Kaas turned away West Bend’s attempt at a comeback as the Bluebirds defeated the Ice Bears 4-2 at Kettle Moraine Ice Center.
Janesville (8-11-0) won its third straight game despite falling into a 2-0 hole late in the first period.
Joyce netted two goals in the first nine minutes of the second period, and Coulter and Peterson added goals a few minutes later. The Bluebirds outshot the Ice Bears 13-5 in the second period.
“We came out buzzing pretty well,” Janesville coach John Mauermann said of his team’s second-period charge.
Kaas made 13 of his 30 saves in the third period to help preserve the win.
Monday’s game was the first of four the Bluebirds will play in a five-day span, though the team is coming off a 10-day break thanks to snowstorms and subzero temperatures that caused the postponement of a pair of games.
The Bluebirds host Cedarburg tonight and travel to Sun Prairie on Thursday. A home game Friday against Middleton, a makeup from Jan. 31, will close the regular season.
Then, Janesville will have nearly a week to prepare for its postseason opener Feb. 14, when it will host fifth-seeded Whitefish Bay in a WIAA regional final. The Bluebirds are seeded fourth in their 11-team sectional.
Mauermann said Janesville was originally seeded fifth but was able to swap positions with Whitefish Bay after appealing successfully.
“Our schedule in the sectional was the second-strongest,” Mauermann said. “We’re healthy and hopefully gaining confidence.”
The Rock County Fury, the area’s girls hockey co-op, was seeded second and will open the postseason Feb. 14 against Baraboo.
JANESVILLE 4, WEST BEND 2
Janesville 0 4 0—4
West Bend 2 0 0—2
WB—Cam Sullivan (Andy Butler, Ethan Coughlin), 13:52, pp. WB—Odin Klebba (Butler), 14:45.
J—Conor Joyce (Ben Coulter, Charlie Degarmo), 4:11. J—Joyce (Dylan McGuire, Cayden Erikson), 8:54, pp. J—Coulter (McGuire), 13:14. J—Cullen Peterson (Coulter), 16:37.
Saves—Kenny McAughey (WB) 20, Cody Kaas (J) 30.