The first stanza was a carbon copy of most of the games between these two teams. Up and down the ice they went and each time was warp speed. The Jets outshot the Blues 10 – 5 during period one, but the Blues defense held up to the task and there was no score going into the first intermission. Neither team had a power play opportunity as the first period was penalty free. While the defense played well during the first, the offense needs to step it up. The Blues have had big trouble when they get outshot by a two to one margin.
There were no penalties called in the second period, and while the Jets continue to put more shots on goal than do the Jr. Blues, the score after two complete periods is still 0 – 0. After 40 minutes of play Janesville had 20 shots on goal to the Blues 13. The Blues played a much better second period today than they did last night. This defensive struggle continued to be the highlight of the game through the first two stanzas.
Chris Sitler lit the lamp at 1:02 of the third period on an assist by Kyle Cook. Shortly after that the Janesville Ice Arena’s internet went down and Blues fans were unable to receive FASTHockey to watch the rest of the game. Their modem is outside the rink and apparently got wet from the heavy rain in Southern Wisconsin that was falling at the time. My phone immediately lit up like a Christmas tree with reports that the game was “off the air”. Janesville’s broadcaster, Mike Hammit worked feverishly for the entire rest of the game but was unable to get the internet up and running again.
What Jr. Blues fans missed was one of the most spectacular and efficient displays of defense I’ve ever watched this team produce. The broadcast went down around the 16:51 point of the period countdown, but from Sitler’s goal on the Blues put the clamps on the Jets, and about the only noise you heard in the rink came from the visitor’s fans. I was texting as fast as I could to update all who texted me, and I hope everyone got the information about this stunning victory. If not then you have a couple of different options, all of which are on the internet. The Official Jr. Blues website has the game summary on it, this entire article is on the blog and the State Journal-Register has their postgame article posted on their web site: www.sj-r.com.
Next week the Jr. Blues head to Chesterfield, Missouri for round two of the NAHL Playoffs, or the Divisional Championship. Friday night’s game will start at 7:00 pm at the Hardee’s IcePlex, followed by a 2:00 pm game Saturday afternoon. Let’s get more Blues fans to the rink and outnumber the Bandits again.
Blues' Goalie, Gabe Antoni, was named first star of the game as the Blue and Gold shut out the Jets for the fourth time in ten games in a thirty day span which included the regular season.