New Head Coach Jake Fleming knew that heading into Janesville and getting a sweep would be a tall order, but his goal was to get a split and that goal was nearly accomplished. The Chill would play an unusual Thursday & Friday night weekend series in Janesville because of a youth tournament that was scheduled for Saturday.
The Janesville Jets were in a rare 4 game losing streak after being swept 3 games straight in St. Louis and there was no doubt that they felt the wrath of Head Coach Dane Litke in practice all week in preparation of seeing a Coulee Region Chill squad that had been banged up and on their own 5 game losing streak.
Chill netminder Aaron Davis had a strong first period, stopping 14 of 15 Jets shots, but gave up a lone goal to John Olen. Connor McBride and Pijus Rulivicious scored in the 2nd, giving the Jets a 3-0 lead until Cory Lushanko scored a big hustle goal with 13 seconds left in the period to make it 3-1. Janesville would get two more in the 3rd to make it 5-1 and then it was Lushanko again as he camped in front of the net and deflected an Adam Thomas shot making it 5-2. Janesville would add one more with just 15 seconds left for a convincing 6-2 win and end their losing streak.
Friday night it was like dejavu' in net for the Chill as Aaron Davis came up huge time and time again going perfect in the 1st period stopping 14 of 14 and then the CRC got on the board first in the 2nd period when Cory Lushanko flipped a perfect lead pass to a streaking Mac Jansen for a top shelf shot past Brock Kautz giving the Chill a 1-0 lead. Janesville would bounce back with 3 of their own to take a 3-1 lead until Tyler Klein scored with a minute thirteen left in the period on an assist from Ryan Jaremko making it 3-2.
The Chill trailing by just one goal in the 3rd, worked the puck to Jake Useldinger in the slot where he knocked down a high pass and then wristed it past Kautz to tie the game one minute into teh 3rd period. It was not to be on this night, as Jordan Bancroft was able to bury his second of the night past Davis for a Jets 4-3 victory.
The Coulee Region needs just one win to clinch the final playoff spot in the Midwest Division and the team they need to beet is the Chicago Hitmen. The Chill have a series edge 4-2 and will have a couple weeks of practices under Coach Fleming & Olson to hopefully get this done against the Hitmen this weekend. The Chill lost another veteran player this past weekend in Tommy Miller, who suffered a knee injury when it was hit on the side in a collision at center ice. The Coulee Region hope to get back the services of Pat Steinhauser, who was a +5 in his last 10 games before suffering a high ankle sprain. They also hope to have 6'1 210 lb tendered Defensemen Matt Fosdick in the lineup this weekend. Fosdick plays for Team Wisconsin and is currently going to high school in Brookfield WI.
The Austin Bruins will be in on Sunday as well for a 5:00 pm game.