Windigo Split Series with Janesville Jets
Victor Widlund Named Midwest Division Star of the Week
The Wisconsin Windigo’s nine game road trip concluded this past weekend in Janesville, WI, with two games versus the NAHL Midwest Division leading Janesville Jets. The Jets brought a record of 11 wins, 6 regulation losses and 2 overtime losses into the weekend. The Windigo carried a record of 7 wins, 11 losses and 1 overtime loss going into last weekend’s competition. Wisconsin Windigo forward and assistant captain Victor Widlund, 20, helped his team to a weekend split with the Jets. The 5’11/190 lbs. native of Lerum, Sweden, had four points in the two games. On Friday, Widlund had two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist in a 4-3 win. On Saturday, he picked up an assist in a 3-2 loss. Widlund was named NAHL Midwest Division Star of the Week for his efforts against the Jets. For the season, Widlund currently leads the Windigo in scoring with 15 points in 21 games played. “Victor has been gaining more confidence every week as he adjusts to playing in North America. He’s a guy we lean on in a lot of situations and he deserves this recognition,” said Windigo head coach Blake Hietala.
Friday, November 11: Wisconsin Windigo 4 at Janesville Jets 3 The Jets came out strong and dominated play in the first period with consistent offensive pressure in the Windigo zone. With the help of goaltender Max Beckford, the Windigo weathered the storm until Windigo forward Ben Anderson scored his 4th goal of the year (assists to Axel Begley and Widlund) just over 11 minutes into the game. The Jets outshot the Windigo 14 to 5 in the opening frame, but the Windigo carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. With a quick shot from the mid-slot, Victor Widlund tallied his 4th of the season on a power play (from Anderson and Zach Burfoot) at 7:04 of the second period. Defenseman Cashen Naeve put the Windigo up 3-0 a few minutes later when he buried a loose puck with a slapshot from the top of the faceoff circle. Janesville battled back to score two goals 23 seconds apart just over 12 minutes into the second period. The teams traded goals in the third, with Windigo forward Victor Widlund being credited with his 5th goal of the season when a Jets defensemen put the puck into his own net. Beckford earned the victory for the Windigo with 42 saves on the 45 shots he faced. The Windigo were credited with 24 shots on net. “We got off to a slow start, but Max was stellar in net. He kept us in the game until we found a way to pick up the intensity,” commented Windigo head coach Blake Hietala. “That first goal helped swing the momentum back in our favor. Ben Anderson has been working hard and improving all season. It was great to see him rewarded for his effort. Victor Widlund has been coming on strong lately. His line played well again tonight,” continued Hietala. After being held pointless for 8 games, Widlund has recorded 4 goals and 6 assists in his last 5 games.
Saturday, November 12: Wisconsin Windigo 2 at Janesville Jets 3 – The second game of the weekend was more evenly played but Janesville pounced quickly with 2 goals in the first 8 minutes of play. Luke Levandowski (from Connor Mahony and Victor Widlund) scored 28 seconds into the second period to bring the Windigo within a goal. Janesville answered midway into the period with a power play goal. Levandowski struck again with a power play goal of his own at 18:16 of the second period to bring the Windigo back to within a goal. Levandowski’s goal was assisted by Cole Mickel and Windigo newcomer, Daniil Dolzhenko. The teams traded 8 shots in the third period, but none found the back of the net. With the goalie pulled and a man in the penalty box, the Windigo nearly tied the game as they rang shots off the cross bar and then the goal post in the last 14 seconds of the game. “We made a strong push late in the game to tie it up and came close. That was an unfortunate penalty late in the third. Calls like that can are most unfortunate,” commented coach Hietala after the loss. Max Beckford was credited with 30 saves on 33 shots he faced. The Windigo had 30 shots on Janesville.
Up Next: November 18 – 19 at the Janesville Jets The road trip finally comes to an end and the Windigo commence a 12-game home stand versus Janesville on November 18 and 19. Puck drop is at 7pm both nights at the Dome. Tickets are available online at www.wisconsinjuniorhockey.com/tickets or at the door. Limited reserve section access is available for $15 and general admission is $10.