Weekend Preview: Jets at Steel (G34)
CHIPPEWA FALLS, WI - After a span of time that saw them play six games in ten days from the Janesville Ice Arena, the Jets will pack their bags and head off to Chippewa for a one-day stay and matchup against the Steel on Friday night. Janesville had the luxury of playing 14 of their last 16, plus eight consecutive games at home, and will start a trek that will have them road-bound until February. With the single game against the Steel and just five points separating the two, Friday night's game holds plenty of significance for the Jets.
Winners of four straight games, the Jets come into Friday's game averaging over four goals a game during their streak and have moved up a spot in the Midwest standings thanks to their successful homestand. They also won two of three the weekend before against the third-place Anchorage Wolverines. With a sound offensive display and some great goaltending from the reigning Midwest Star of the Week Owen Millward and Mike D'Orazio, the Jets are clicking on all cylinders and are finding consistent play from all over the ice.
The Steel won their first game out of the holiday break on January 8 against the Minnesota Wilderness in a 3-0 shutout. Two nights ago, they traveled to Richfield to take on the Magicians, which featured a heavyweight back-and-forth and ended in a 6-5 shootout loss. Their three-game point streak is the longest to date this season, and a win or overtime loss would mark their longest.
Steel rookie goaltender Croix Kochendorfer has been a rock in his first year in the NAHL, and has caught fire recently. In his last three games, he's posted a .943 save percentage and a 1.94 goals against average while making at least 30 saves in all three games. An even bigger story for the Saint Paul, Minnesota native is that he popped up on the NHL's Central Scouting Mid-Term Rankings for North American goaltenders. Kochendorfer came in at 27th and is just one of two goalies in the NAHL to appear on the list.
The Jets have a league-leading four defensemen in the top 20 in scoring amongst blueliners; Will Troutwine (5G-18A), Grayden Daul (6G-15A), Cal Mell (1G-20A) and a new addition to the list AJ Casperson (3G-17A) all find themselves in the top tier of d-men in the league.
Tonight's game is the first of the year against the Steel, and will start an eight-game season series between the only two Wisconsin NAHL teams. Puck drop is slated for 7 pm CT.
If you're looking to follow along with the action, you can watch on HockeyTV, featuring a friendly call from yours truly, or follow live updates from our Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram platforms.
Record: 15-17-0-1 (6th, Midwest)
Road Record: 4-11-0-0
Goals For/Game: 3.45 (10th)
Goals Against/Game: 3.73 (23rd)
Shots For/Game: 29.55 (21st)
Shots Against/Game: 30.09 (12th)
Power Play: 18.1% (15th)
Penalty Kill: 70.9% (29th)
Top Scorers: F Cy LeClerc (33GP-20G-20A-40PTS); F William Gustavsson (29GP-11G-15A-26PTS); F Jan Lasak (27GP-14G-11A-25PTS)
Goaltenders: Owen Millward (13-7-0-0; 3.05 GAA; .897 SV%); Michael D'Orazio (2-7-0-1; 3.92 GAA; .876 SV%); Ryan Whittaker (0-1-0-0; 6.00 GAA; .778 SV%)
Rostered Commitments: F Robby Newton (University of Wisconsin); F Grayden Daul (University of Wisconsin); F Jonah Aegerter (St. Cloud State); F Cy LeClerc (University of New Hampshire); F Jan Lasak (St. Lawrence University); F Ethan Begg (University of Vermont); F Jack Ford (Army-West Point); D AJ Casperson (Long Island University); F Jimmy Doyle (St. Lawrence University)
Record: 17-15-0-2 (5th, Midwest)
Home Record: 8-9-0-1
Goals For/Game: 3.06 (20th)
Goals Against/Game: 3.21 (19th)
Shots For/Game: 30.56 (16th)
Shots Against/Game: 28.79 (8th)
Power Play: 17.3% (17th)
Penalty Kill: 80.2% (18th)
Top Scorers: F Ethan Benz (34GP-14G-19A-33PTS); F Jack Brown (34GP-10G-16A-26PTS); F Braden Lindstrom (31GP-7G-18A-25PTS)
Goaltenders: Croix Kochendorfer (10-9-0-1; 2.72 GAA; .907 SV%); Levi Gho (6-4-0-0; 2.91 GAA; .890 SV%)
Rostered Commitments: F Matthew Brille (Brown University); F Andrew Delladonna (Ohio State University)
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