Soo takes advantage of slow Janesville start
A shaky opening 10 minutes cost the Janesville Jets on Friday night.
The Soo Eagles put 10 of the game’s first 11 shots on goal and scored twice by the midpoint of the first period before holding on for a 3-2 NAHL victory at the Janesville Ice Arena.
It was the first of five straight games between the two teams over 10 days, a stretch that the Jets need to take advantage of while chasing the Eagles in the NAHL North standings.
“It just goes to show what one period of hockey can do to a game,” Jets coach Joe Dibble said. “We just have to learn to string periods together. We’ve taken some major strides the last three games, but we just have to put it into one game and roll from there.”
The Jets fell behind before the 728 fans in attendance had a chance to settle into their seats.
The Eagles won a faceoff in the Janesville zone and Brad Pung’s shot found its way past goalie Logan Halladay.
“They won a clean faceoff that you can’t have happen in your own zone,” Dibble said.
Soo doubled its lead just before the midway point in the first period on a power-play goal, and the Eagles carried that advantage all the way into the third period.
Once there, Mike Sabatini stretched it to 3-0 just over two minutes in, and it looked like the Eagles might skate to an easy victory.
Jets forward Michael Louria ended that notion with back-to-back power-play goals in the heart of the third.
He walked the first one in from the left side of the net and fired a wrister that put Janesville on the board with 10:16 remaining in the game. The second came less than three minutes later when Bryan Kronberger found him in nearly the exact same spot, once again on the power play, and Louria took advantage for his team-leading 18th goal this season.
“He’s gifted with the puck,” Dibble said. “He’s able to lure guys in and make moves and to make goalies move to open up holes.
“It was a little too late. And sometimes you run into a hot goaltender. He played pretty well.”
Soo goalie Landon Trutt stopped 37 shots to earn the victory. Halladay made 25 saves for Janesville.
The two teams drop the puck again tonight at 7 o’clock at the Janesville Ice Arena.
SOO 3, JANESVILLE 2
Soo 2 0 1—3
Janesville 0 0 2—2
S—Brad Pung (Chase Matson), 3:03. S—Scott Cuthrell (Sandis Zolmanis, Darren Brady), pp, 9:45.
S—Mike Sabatini (Nick Belger, Matt Menta), 2:05. J—Michael Louria (Adam Winborg, Evan Feno), pp, 9:44. J—Louria (Bryan Kronberger, Winborg), pp, 12:40.
Saves—Landon Trutt (S) 37, Logan Halladay (J) 25.