By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Friday night’s 7-6 shootout loss to the North Edmonton Red Wings (13-6-2) was a decidedly different contest than the 12-1 defeat the Wings dealt the Jets Oct. 20, and shows just how well the Jets can play hockey when they want to.
However, a rash of penalties for the Jets provided the Wings with five powerplay goals, preventing the Jets from maintaining the solid lead they developed early in the game.
The Jets came out strong in the first period, rippling the Wings’ mesh three times in their first four scoring chances. But a slashing penalty to Braden Arcand and tripping penalty to Dalen Paul in the second half of the frame allowed the Wings to score two powerplay goals, closing the gap to just one goal between the two sides of the board.
“It’s the same old adage – stay out of the box and we can compete,” said Jets Head coach Scott Rodda, adding he felt the game was a good one for the Jets. “We didn’t take bad penalties. It’s just every time we got one, it cost us. So I give them [ the Red Wings] good credit for [their] powerplay and give us no credit in terms of penalty kill.”
The second period saw the Jets pick up a powerplay goal at 17:32, their only goal of the frame. However, some after-the-whistle roughing left the Jets a man short for two minutes, during which time the Wings picked up another powerplay goal. It was a formula to be repeated five minutes later, allowing the Wings to bring the game to a 4-4 tie.
During the final frame, the two clubs played a game of pull ahead and catch up. The Red Wings shifted the contest to 5-4 in their favour early in the period, but the Jets even the score a few minutes later. With 8:19 left in the game, the Jets shifted the balance to 6-5 in their favour, only to have the Wings bring it to a 6-6 tie three minutes later.
It was a score that remained the same through five minutes of overtime. The contest was decided in a shootout that went to five rounds, giving the Red Wings the victory and the Jets a point for carrying the contest past regulation time.
The Jets play three games this week. They travel to St. Albert Tuesday night for an 8 p.m. contest against the Merchants at the Akinsdal Arena, follow it with an 8 p.m. rematch against the Red Wings at the Clareview Arena Wednesday night, and return to home ice Sunday afternoon for a 2 p.m. contest against the Leduc Schwab Riggers.