With the goalie pulled and down a goal, Janesville Jets head coach Gary Shuchuk called a timeout to rally his team and establish a plan for the final 30 seconds of a clash against the Midwest Division-leading Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Friday night.
The plan worked, and captain Kip Hoffmann deposited the game-tying goal with just 11 seconds left on the clock to send the game to overtime.
It was good enough to help the Jets steal one point at the Janesville Ice Arena as Fairbanks went on to win the game 3-2 in a shootout.
“We told the guys during the timeout, we said we’ve been here before. We have to be hard on the puck and we have to want it,” Shuchuk said. “We had the setup we wanted, and it just got to the point where we won some battles and Carter (Ekberg) made a nice pass to Kip and it worked out for us.”
The Jets struggled out of the gate, registering just nine shots on goal in the first two periods combined, and they headed into the third period down a goal. Fairbanks defenseman Luke Orysiuk sniped home a power-play goal at 16:47 of the middle frame that gave the Ice Dogs the lead.
“The first two periods we didn’t fight hard enough,” Shuchuk said. “We basically said, ‘How bad do you guys want to win this game?’ and the guys responded in the third period.”
After taking the timeout, the Jets pulled goalie Daniel Lebedeff and put an extra attacker on the ice for the final 30 seconds. Defenseman Carter Ekberg found the puck and squeezed a backdoor pass to Hoffmann, who slipped the puck in the goal with 11 seconds to play in the game.
With two minutes remaining in overtime, the Jets took a too-many-men penalty but successfully killed the ensuing power play to push the game to the shootout.
Brenden MacLaren scored in the second round of the shootout, but Fairbanks countered with two goals, including Jax Murray’s game-winner in the sixth round.
Goalie Daniel Lebedeff finished with 31 saves for the Jets, who travel to Springfield for a game tonight.
FAIRBANKS 2, JANESVILLE 1 (SO)
Fairbanks 0 1 0 0 1—-2
Janesville 0 0 1 0 0—1
F—Luke Orysiuk (Caleb Hite, Hunter Wendt), pp, 16:47.
J—Kip Hoffmann (Carter Ekberg, Tanner Polglaze), 19:49.
Brenden MacLaren scored in the second round for the Jets. Wendt scored in the third round for the Ice Dogs before teammate Jax Murray scored in the sixth round to win the shootout 2-1.
Saves—Josh Benson (F) 17, Daniel Lebedeff (J) 30.