The Windigo returned home to host the Janesville Jets in a Midwest Division matchup. The teams split games the previous weekend in Janesville, by the scores of 3-2 for the Windigo and 2-0 for the Jets. This past weekend was a stark contrast to their meeting in Janesville. The Windigo swept Janesville, outscoring them 16 to 3 in the two game series. Windigo assistant captain Victor Widlund paced his team in scoring with 5 goals and 2 assists. Widlund was named Bauer NAHL Midwest Star of the Week for his efforts. This marks the second time this season that Widlund earned the award. The weekend sweep widened the Windigo lead (69 points) in the Midwest division over second place Minnesota Wilderness (65 points). Fairbanks holds third place in the division with 58 points, just one point ahead of fourth place Chippewa. The top 4 teams in the division advance to the playoffs upon conclusion of the regular season on April 15.
Friday, March 17: Janesville Jets 2 @ Wisconsin Windigo 10: The Jets came out gunning and struck first just 4:56 into the opening frame. They seemed to have the Windigo on their heels until Will Schumacher (assisted by Max Martin and Victor Widlund) got the scoring started for the Windigo at the 15:35 mark of the first period. Schumacher’s goal seemed to ignite a fire on the Windigo bench as they scored twice more before the end of the first period. Ben Anderson scored next, with the assists going to Axel Begley and Zach Cline. Widlund then scored to close out the first period. Schumacher and Anderson were credited with the assists on Widlund’s goal. The Windigo piled on with 5 consecutive goals in the second period. Daniil Dolzhenko (from Sam Jacobs and Chris Kernan) commenced the barrage for the Windigo in the second. Frank Jenkins (Widlund and Schumacher) was next. Newcomer Luke Baker scored his 3rd of the season (from Patrick Isiguzo and Everett Pietila). Isiguzo scored one of his own (from Baker and Pietila). Victor Widlund picked up his second of the game (from Cashen Naeve and Mario DiMaggio) to close the second period. Widlund completed his hat trick 6:58 into the third period. Cline and Anderson were credited with the assists. Janesville broke up the goal scoring late in the third, only to find Max Martin answer with the Windigo’s 10th goal of the game 16 seconds later. Dolzhenko and Schumacher assisted on Martin’s goal. Widlund finished the game with 3 goals and 2 assists. Other muti-point performers for the Windigo were Schumacher (1g, 3a), Anderson (1g, 2a), Baker (1g, 1a), Martin (1g, 1a), Isiguzo (1g, 1a), Pietila (2a) and Dolzhenko (1g, 1a). The Windigo outshot the Jets 38 to 29. Gavin Moffatt earned his 18th win in net for the Windigo with 27 saves.
Saturday, Janesville 1 @ Wisconsin Windigo 6: In Saturday’s re-match, the first period was scoreless, with the Jets carrying the play by outshooting the Windigo 11 to 3. Windigo goalie Gavin Moffatt held the Jets at bay. Playing in only his second game after returning from an injury that kept him out of the lineup since October 22, Jon Bell broke open the scoring with a goal 6:27 into the 2nd period. Janesville was able to tie the game just 29 seconds later. Victor Widlund (from Ben Anderson and Will Schumacher) and Max Martin (Daniil Dolzhenko and Axel Begley) secured a two goal lead prior to the 2nd intermission. Drew Fisher scored his 8th goal of the season just 4:50 into the third period. Luke Baker and Dolzhenko assisted on Fisher’s goal. Widlund continued his hot hand with his 2nd of the goal game (Ben Anderson and Frank Jenkins assisting), Martin pounced on a power play opportunity, scoring his 2nd of the game, to close out the scoring. Dolzhenko and Axel Begley assisted on the final goal of the weekend. Three of the 6 Windigo goals were scored on the power play. Gavin Moffatt kept out 20 of 21 shots faced. The Windigo placed 41 shots on net.
Coach Hietala’s Comments: “After going scoreless in the last 5 periods of play last weekend in Janesville, it was great to see our offense come alive. We had great fan support both nights here and our guys seemed determined to put on a show. We had several multiple point scorers on the weekend. Widlund’s 5 goals and 2 assists ranks amongst the best weekends by any forward in the league this season. Widlund is one of the most skilled players in the league. He’s been a great leader for us as one of our assistant captains. It’s gratifying to see his effort rewarded. Max Martin was hot, as were Anderson, Isiguzo, Bell, Baker, Schumacher and others. Moffatt was solid again in net. He kept us in the game in the first period tonight. He gave us a chance to stay in the game until his teammates found their legs,” commented head coach Blake Hietala after Saturday’s win.
Up Next: The Windigo hit the road for a two game series versus the Chippewa Steel on March 23-24. Puck drop is 7pm both nights.