Winborg feeling at home with Jets

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Eric Schmoldt
April 16, 2015

It's safe to say Adam Winborg has settled into life in Wisconsin and the United States.

Three years ago, he moved here from Sweden to continue his hockey-playing dreams, starting with a stint with the United States Hockey League's Green Bay Gamblers.

Now in his second year with the Janesville Jets, Winborg tied for sixth in the North American Hockey League with 29 goals during the regular season. He added three more—including both game-winners—as the Jets opened their playoff run with two dominating victories over the Michigan Warriors last weekend.

Winborg and the Jets travel to Flint, Michigan, and will attempt to sweep the Warriors in the best-of-five division semifinal series Friday night. Game 4, if necessary, is Saturday. If a fifth game is needed, it'll come Monday night at the Janesville Ice Arena.

“You're starting to see the real Adam Winborg,” Janesville head coach Joe Dibble said. “The adjustment period is over; there's no longer a phase where he needs to adjust to the American lifestyle or hockey.

“His confidence level is through the roof.”

Winborg played 49 games with the Gamblers during the 2012-13 season, scoring one goal and adding an assist.

He admits it took him about half of that first season to adjust to his new surroundings. He grew outside of Stockholm, Sweden's capital city.

“The language (was difficult), and I was still in high school then,” said Winborg, who recently turned 20 years old. “All of that school stuff, the culture, it was different, but it's gone well.”

Winborg played nearly every game for Janesville in the 2013-14 season, scoring 14 goals and adding 24 assists in 59 games.

The progression has only continued in his second season here. He scored nearly a point per game and led the Jets with 15 power-play goals and seven game-winning tallies during the regular season.

“He's got a very sneaky shot on him, that he can score at any point from the top of the circles on down,” Dibble said. “His work ethic, his leadership abilities, every aspect is at an all-time high.

“He's a big reason our team has moved along as well as we have.”

The Jets won the NAHL's regular-season title and started the playoffs with a bang, outscoring Michigan 14-3 in the first two games of their playoff series.

Winborg scored Janesville's first two goals Friday night, and they were critical because it was a one-goal game before a scoring barrage in the second half of the third period led to an 8-1 victory. Winborg's power-play goal Saturday broke a 2-2 tie on the way to a 6-2 win.

“I think I have found my role of how I should play,” Winborg said. “Obviously I've got a lot of help from my linemates, and we've had a good power play, which helps a lot.

“We went into last weekend just wanting to get three wins as quick as possible and reload for the next series.”

The Jets are a win away from winning a playoff series for the first time in franchise history.

Now comfortable in his home away from home, Winborg has been a large part of the milestone season.

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