The visiting Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets defeated the Kenai River Brown Bears 5-2 on Thursday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in North American Hockey League play.
The loss kept the Bears from clinching a first playoff berth since 2014, but Kenai River needs only a point in its remaining six games or for the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel to tie or lose in their remaining eight games for the playoff spot.
The Bears are now 19-21-1-1 and in fourth place in the Midwest Division, while Janesville moves to 28-9-3-0 and leads second-place Minnesota Magicians by 10 points. Were the playoffs to start today, the Jets and Bears would be facing each other.
Charlie Schoen had a hat trick to lead the Jets to victory, while Shane Ott had three assists.
Just 2 minutes, 4 seconds, into the game, Theo Thrun scored for Kenai River, but Janesville would score five unanswered goals to take control of the game.
Justin Engelkes and Jake Sacratini scored in the first, while Schoen struck once in the first and twice in the second.
Daymin Dodge scored on the power play in the third period for the Bears.
Riley Sims made 37 saves for Janesville, while Luke Pavicich stopped 26 for the Bears.
Jets 5, Brown Bears 2
Janesville 3 2 0 —5
Kenai River 1 0 1 —2
First period — 1. Kenai River, Thrun (Winters, Veri), 2:04; 2. Janesville, Engelkes (Newton, Lucken), 2:44; 3. Janesville, Sacratini (Itagaki, Troutwine), 9:07; 4. Janesville, Schoen (Ott, Mell), 11:06. Penalties — none.
Second period — 5. Janesville, Schoen (Bartecko, Ott), 19:00; 6. Janesville, Schoen (Romer, Ott), 19:39. Penalties — Janesville 1 for 2:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.
Third period — 7. Kenai River, Dodge (Lajoie, Veri), pp, 6:03. Penalties — Janesville 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — Janesville 9-12-10—31; Kenai River 13-13-13—39.
Goalies — Janesville, Sims (39 shots, 37 saves); Kenai River, Pavicich (31 shots, 26 saves).
Power plays — Janesville 0 for 2; Kenai River 1 for 3.