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Jets bounce back to topple Bears

The visiting Kenai River Brown Bears dropped a 5-1 decision to the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets on Friday in North American Hockey League play.

The Jets avenged a Thursday loss to the Bears in Janesville’s home opener to improve to 5-0-1-0. The Bears fall to 3-3-0-0. The two teams play the decisive game of the series today at 4 p.m. AKDT.

The Jets took a 2-0 lead after the first period on goals by Joseph Kramer and Chris Pelosi. Kramer’s strike came just 20 seconds into the contest.

“We started talking about it after the game last night about how they were going to push tonight and how it would be a ton harder than last night,” Kenai River head coach Taylor Shaw said. “I don’t think we were ready to go from the drop of the puck.

“That’s on us for not being ready. You can’t make excuses for not being ready on a Friday night.”

Early in the second period, Carson Triggs, assisted by Owen Penny and Luke Anderson, got the Bears within 2-1. But with 6:39 left in the second, Noah Gibbs scored on the power play for a 3-1 lead.

“After we were two back after the first period, I feel like we started to push a little bit and get back to the details we’ve been having success with,” Shaw said.

The coach said the team could never overcome the slow start, though.

“We’ve never been able to win back-to-back games,” Shaw said. “Every game we’ve won, the next game we’ve given up five or more goals.”

Janesville’s Geno McEnery made it 4-1 on an empty-netter with 1:45 to play, then Kyle Kudrna added a late goal for good measure.

Peter Sterling saved 30 for the win, while Bryant Marks stopped 38 in the loss.

Friday

Jets 5, Brown Bears 1

Kenai River 0 1 0 —1

Janesville 2 1 2 —5

First period — 1. Janesville, Kramer (un.), 0:20; 2. Janesville, Pelosi (McEnery), 9:02. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Janesville 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 3. Kenai River, Triggs (Penny, Anderson), 3:12; 4. Janesville, Gibbs (Lundberg, Keryluk), pp, 13:21. Penalties — Kenai River 6 for 23:00.

Third period — 5. Janesville, McEnery (Kramer, Lieberman), en, 18:15; 6. Janesville, Kudrna (Friedman, Lieberman), 19:25. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Janesville 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 11-10-10—31; Janesville 19-11-13—43.

Goalies — Kenai River, Marks (41 shots, 37 saves); Janesville, Sterling (21 shots, 20 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 1; Janesville 1 for 3.

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