01STOCK_ICESKATES

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

First period

WB—Cam Sullivan (Andy Butler, Ethan Coughlin), 13:52, pp. WB—Odin Klebba (Butler), 14:45.

Second period

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.

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