Mack Keryluk had a memorable debut for the Janesville Jets on Friday night.
Keryluk, a Verona native, scored a hat trick in his first career game, helping lift the Jets to an 8-3 victory and a series sweep of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in North American Hockey League action at the Janesville Ice Arena.
“Our whole goal was just to get pucks in deep, play some offense and take the game to them,” Keryluk said. “Their team likes to kind of swing up the zone and get offense moving right away. ... If we can pounce on the forecheck, we get goal chances.
“My teammates were just setting me up. Two of my goals were just back-door tap-ins, so I’ve got to give it all to my teammates.”
Keryluk scored a goal in each period in his debut. Cade Destefani scored two more goals—giving him four goals in his first two games—and added three assists. Charlie Schoen scored one goal and assisted on two others, and Matthew Romer had three assists.
A blowout win did not appear to be in the cards for the Jets when they fell behind 2-0 in the opening eight minutes. But Keryluk scored his first goal and Shane Ott tied the game in the final four minutes of the first period.
Dominik Bartecko, Destefani and Keryluk each scored in the second period as the Jets pulled away, and goals by Schoen and Destefani made it 7-2 deep into the third period.
“I don’ think we can expect to score seven (goals) every night, but ... we rolled four lines in both games, and I think you saw a lot of contribution from a lot of different guys,” said Jets first-year coach Parker Burgess, whose team also won 6-4 on Thursday. “I think that gives us confidence as a staff that we don’t have to lean on one or two lines or a couple guys to bear the load.”
Riley Sims stopped 28 of 31 shots in net to earn the victory for the Jets.
They play next Friday and Saturday on the road against the Austin Bruins.
JETS 8, ICE DOGS 3
Fairbanks 2 0 1—3
Janesville 2 3 3—8
F—Bret Link (Evan Junker), sh, 6:03. F—Tyler Stewart (Jasper Lester, Scott McKenzie), 7:26. J—Mack Keryluk, 16:31. J—Shane Ott (Dominik Bartcko, Matthew Romer), 18:30.
J—Bartecko (Cade Destefani, Colin Oppelt), 8:16. J—Destefani (Gunnar Williams, Charlie Schoen), 12:21. J—Keryluk (Williams, Paul Minnehan), 14:41.
J—Schoen (Destefani, Romer), pp, 8:12. J—Destefani (Schoen), pp, 12:58. F—Cam Ricotta (Billy Renfrew, Jake Hale), 18:15. J—Keryluk (Romer, Destefani), 18:28.
Saves—Ryan Keyes (F) 23, Austin Ryman (F) 9, Riley Sims (J) 28.