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Jets go Duck Hunting, Come up With Nine Kills

By Carter Brooks

Photos by James Carey Lauder

An offensive explosion would be a drastic understatement if one were to describe the Winnipeg Jets’ opening period against the Anaheim Ducks Saturday evening.

Jets go Duck Hunting, Come up With Nine Kills

The Pacific Division Ducks quacked their way in and out of enemy territory, as the boys in blue absolutely took it to their southern neighbours in a 9-3 rout at Bell MTS Place.

After Andrew Copp got things started for the Jets on a rebound just two minutes in, Jack Roslovic added to Winnipeg’s lead with a power play breakaway goal on a beautiful stretch pass from Jacob Trouba. Blake Wheeler then added his name to the offence, following an exceptionally dominant shift in the Ducks’ zone.

Later, Dmitry Kulikov and Bryan Little found themselves on a two-on-one, in which Little picked up the Jets’ fourth goal of the game on just their 11th shot. Nick Ritchie did not like the post-goal celebration and took a roughing penalty in exception.

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Roslovic picked up his second goal of the game on a walk-in wrist shot on the ensuing power play, before Brendan Lemieux put the finishing touches on the Jets’ highest-scoring period in franchise history on a wraparound. With six goals in less than 18 minutes of play, Winnipeg set a new mark in Atlanta/Winnipeg team history.

Former Jet Randy Carlyle finally relieved his netminder John Gibson with a mercy pull following Winnipeg’s sixth goal of the opening period, sending in backup Chad Johnson as his replacement. Gibson stopped eight of 14 shots, while Hellebuyck made saves on all four shots he faced in the opening frame.

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The Ducks put together what looked like the beginning of a small comeback to open the second period, as the visitors picked up the period’s opening two goals, on strikes from Nick Ritchie and Derek Grant.

The slight swing in momentum didn’t seem to phase the Jets however, as Mason Appleton found Tyler Myers on yet another two-on-one, and the big blueliner tapped it past Johnson, restoring Winnipeg’s five-goal lead. Jack Roslovic put the nail in the coffin on his first career NHL hat trick, picking up another power play goal with just half a minute remaining in middle stanza.

Through 40 minutes, the Jets led the Ducks 8-2 and held an 11-shot advantage, finishing the frame up 24-13 in that regard.

The third period provided one more goal apiece, as the Jets held off for a 9-3 victory. Although coming close (on numerous occasions) to potting a tenth, Winnipeg was ultimately unable to record a new franchise record for most goals in a game.

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Connor Hellebuyck ended the night with 26 saves on 29 Anaheim shots, while reliever Chad Johnson turned aside 14 of 17 shots, amidst relentless jeers from the Winnipeg fans. Upon numerous occasions the Mighty Ducks’ ‘Quack, quack, quack’ cheer and ‘We want 10’ chants found their way through the rafters of Bell MTS Place.

Only four Jets did not record a point on the night, including Mark Scheifele. Jack Roslovic led the way with four points, while five others put up multi-point efforts. Five of Winipeg’s six defencemen found the scoresheet, with Ben Chiarot and Jacob Trouba each collecting two assists.

The Jets now wait until Tuesday night for their next contest, which also comes against a Pacific Division squad. The San Jose Sharks will visit Manitoba for a 7:00 P.M. central start Tuesday. The game will be available on TSN3 in the Winnipeg Jets’ region.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at carterbrooks1994@gmail.com.

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