The Chippewa Steel didn’t play like the worst team in the NAHL on Friday night.
Despite having the most losses and the second fewest wins coming in, the Steel stole a victory from the Janesville Jets.
Killian Kiecker-Olson scored at 3:31 of overtime to give Chippewa a 4-3 win at the Janesville Ice Arena.
Janesville led 1-0 early and tied the game 3-3 in the third but could only manage one point against the last-place team in the Midwest Division.
“That’s not good enough,” Janesville coach Gary Shuchuk said of the one point gained from playing to a tie in regulation. “Guys didn’t play well. We had too many mental mistakes and too many penalties.
“We’ve got to be smarter than we were tonight, especially on our line changes. And the five-minute penalty killed us.”
The Jets got on the board quickly. Jack Vincent got his fourth goal of the season at 4:41 of the first on an assist from Matt Hanewall.
Chippewa then took advantage of 5-minute major penalty on Janesville’s Justin Engelkes for a hit to the head on Trevor Wilhelm that drew blood.
The Steel tied the game with a power-play goal at 18:52 of the first and took the lead 19 seconds late on the same power-play as Jacob Dirks whistled a shot past Janesville goalie Cole Brady.
Janesville got the only goal of the second period on an Alex Murray wrister at 7:19.
Chippewa regained the lead early in the third before Erik Palmqvist tied the game at 3-3 when he poked in a rebound at 10:43.
Neither team threatened the last seven minutes of regulation, forcing a 5-minute overtime with a 3-on-3 format.
Janesville had one legitimate scoring chance in OT, but Chippewa goalie Josh Langford came up with a glove save.
The Steel got the game-winner when Kiecker-Olson beat Brady on his glove-side.
“It is what it is,” Shuchuk said. “We had seven minutes of penalties in the first period on a couple of questionable calls.
“We’ve got to come out and fix things, and just play more consistent hockey then we are right now.”
Janesville hosts Chippewa Saturday to wrap up the two-game series.
CHIPPEWA 4, JANESVILLE 3 (OT)
Chippewa 2 0 1 1—4
Janesville 1 1 1 0—3
J—Jack Vincent (Matt Hanewall) 4:41. C—Grant Reichenbacher (Camden Thiesing, Dylan Moulton), pp, 18:52. C—Jacob Dirks (Filip Dusek, Matt Clark), pp, 19:11
J—Alex Murray (Sean Driscoll, Vincent) 7:19
C—Kyle Schroeder (Hunter Weiss, Dirks) 1:41. J—Erik Palmqvist (Mason Salquist, Austin Koss) 10:43
C—Killian Kiecker-Olson 3:31
Saves—Josh Langford (C) 26, Cole Brady (J) 22