Brenden Olson is determined to make a difference for the Janesville Jets this season.
The forward got off to a good start in his return to town Friday night.
Olson started the season with the Jets during main camp before being picked up by the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League (USHL).
Back with Janesville for Friday night’s game against Fairbanks, Olson had one goal and one assist in a 3-0 victory at the Janesville Ice Arena.
“The biggest thing for him is he didn’t play much in Sioux Falls. He’s a gamer, so he wants to play,” Jets coach Gary Shuchuk said.
“He’s excited to be here, and he kept that speed and his game going tonight.”
The Ice Dogs got off to a strong start, outshooting the Jets for most of the first period.
“We weren’t shooting the puck,” Shuchuk said. “We have to keep the pace and play the way we can.”
In the final minute of the period, however, Olson passed the puck to defenseman Jordon Halverson, who scored on a wrist shot from the top of the circle to give the Jets a 1-0 lead.
“I saw him up high and tried to use my speed to get up top, and I dished it over to him, and it happened to go in,” Olson said of the play.
The second period saw the two teams trade chances, but no goals were scored.
Late in the third, Fairbanks pulled its goalie to gain an extra skater, and Olson made the Ice Dogs pay with his first goal as a Jet in his first game. Jets forward Logan Ommen blocked a shot and scored an empty-net goal of his own to make it 3-0 and give the Jets the shutout.
“They’re a good team, and I think we’re going to be battling with them the rest of the year,” Shuchuk said. “It was a very important game for us and the guys played great.”
Jets goalie Cole Brady made 22 saves in the shutout but gave credit to Olson and his other teammates.
“I thought we played well. I didn’t face many hard shots so they made it easy for me,” Brady said. “We knew we had to be solid at both blue lines and we were.”
“He’s a good player,” Brady added, speaking of Olson. “He’s fast, and he is going to add a nice scoring touch to our team. We are glad to have him for sure.”
Olson said he’s just happy to be in Janesville and is ready to make a difference.
“I just hope to contribute to this team and help the team out and be a key guy,” he said. “I like the guys on the team, and I’m glad to be here.”
The Jets, now 15-9-3 this season, host the Northwest Division-leading Minnesota Magicians next weekend.
JANESVILLE 3, FAIRBANKS 0
Fairbanks 0 0 0—0
Janesville 1 0 2—3
J—Jordon Halverson (Brenden Olson, Philip Bjorkman), 19:05.
J—Olson (Brenden MacLaren), 18:42. J—Logan Ommen (Justin Engelkes), 19:08.
Saves—Cole Brady 22, Nate Reid (M) 16.