The Janesville Bluebirds and Madison Memorial Spartans met Tuesday night in Madison with both teams looking for a win in an attempt to bolster their seed in the upcoming tournament seeding meetings. A win could mean a difference between hosting a first round game or going on the road.
Knowing that, and the fact that Janesville got a 3-2 win earlier this season made this game even more important in the eyes of the Spartans.
The Spartans got great goaltending from Wes Turner, and got a goal off a deflection with 28 seconds left and added an empty netter for a 3-1 Big Eight Conference win.
The game played out as a very tight game all night long with both teams battling for space all night. Finally with 2:52 left in the first period Memorial broke thru first. Andrew Olson was able to get his own rebound and put it past Janesville goalie Cody Kaas for a 1-0 first period lead after one period.
Shots were 10-7 Memorial.
The second period had Janesville getting the better of play in the Memorial end. The Spartans got in some penalty trouble that period setting up Janesville on a 5 on 3 power play for 1:27 in the middle of the period but Janesville could not convert.
Finally with 4:15 left in the second period Janesville got a goal from Jake Schaffner, who scored on a rebound to tie the game at 1-1 thru two periods.
Saves in the period were 17 for Memorial, 7 for Janesville.
The third period had both teams looking for an opportunity to get the lead. Both netminders were very stingy. Janesville had a couple quick rushes but Turner was able to turn them away.
Memorial took the lead for good in the final 30 seconds. With just 51 seconds left, Janesville used their timeout for a faceoff in their own zone. After the faceoff Memorial gained the zone. A shot was taken by Drew Bradley from around the right circle. The shot was on its way and Jack Faulkner was able to tip the puck and it scooted past Kaas giving Memorial a 2-1 lead with 28 seconds left.
The ensuing faceoff had Janesville pulling their goalie, but it took just six seconds for Owen Parks to score for the final 3-1 score.
In the game Turner made 31 saves for Memorial, while Janesville's Kaas also played well, making 23 saves.
Memorial is now 7-13-1 overall, 5-8 in Big Eight play and face the Eastside Lakers Friday night.
Janesville falls to 7-13 overall, 4-8 in Big Eight play. The Bluebirds travel to Verona next Tuesday.