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The Janesville Jets have spent much of the early portion of their season playing shorthanded.

Injuries and illnesses have decimated the team at times. The Jets were missing 11 players from the lineup Saturday night at Fairbanks but still managed a victory and a 2-3 record on their two-week road trip.

Janesville returns home tonight to face the Chippewa Steel in the first of two games in a home series at the Janesville Ice Arena. The games begin at 7:05 p.m.

“Going into Saturday’s game, I was missing 11 players,” Jets coach Corey Leivermann said. “Those 11 players are all very impactful players for us—top six forwards, top three defensemen. So we were missing a lot.

“We’re sick, we’re injured and it happens to teams. The record doesn’t show how good the Janesville Jets can be.”

Janesville is 5-8-0-0 for 10 points and sits tied for fourth in the NAHL’s Midwest Division. Chippewa is off to a hot start at 8-2-0-0 and is in second place.

“They have a very good top line,” Leivermann said. “Our mindset is we’ve got to try to find a way to shut down those three guys.”

This weekend is the Jets’ 10th annual Pink in the Rink weekend, with the Jets wearing specialty pink sweaters for both games. Fans will have multiple opportunities to take home a jersey, though auctions between periods and after both games. Proceeds from the auctions, as well as other auction items and raffles, will be donated to Mercyhealth Cancer Center.

Admission is free to all cancer survivors and their families. And children wearing pink also get in free.

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