© Chuck Duboff
“I’ve never been part of anything like that; I scored the goal and the crowd was unbelievable.” Patrick Laine
“Resilience, character and grit…and they never quit.” Paul Maurice
Well, that was a fun night. After months and months of hype about this new, exciting young team; after player introductions, after an emotional tribute to Jets super fan Kroppy…we finally had a hockey game to watch.
The Jets got off to an early 1-0 lead on a goal by newly acquired, Shawn Mathias; but, truth be told, the Jets weren’t looking very good. The play in their own end was sloppy, Conner Hellebucyk didn’t look sharp and the big guns up front weren’t generating any offence. You could feel the tension in the building…not sure how you can say the fans were impatient after only two periods, but that might be the best description. The power play was struggling, the Jets couldn’t connect on two consecutive passes and their game just lacked any kind of chemistry…
With fourteen minutes left in the game, the Jets were down 4-1 and not generating much of anything. “I’ve seen enough, let’s go”…two fans in front of us left and my pal Derek and I looked at each other and said: “watch, they’re going to miss all the excitement.” Little did we know how right we were.
Just moments after Carolina had made it a 4-1 game, Blake Wheeler stole the puck and scored a beautiful short handed goal. Yet, even that goal didn’t seem to create a lot of excitement, a lot of energy in the building. But…
Cue the 18 year old Jets second overall pick. It was Patrick Laine time folks. With just under eight minutes left, the Jets were on the power play; the puck moved around behind the net…Kyle Conner passed it back to the point to Enstrom, who made a perfect pass to Laine, who was in his favourite spot and he fired a rocket to the top corner of the net…and the MTS Centre erupted…been a long, long time since I’ve heard the building that loud. You can watch Laine’s goal right here:
His family was going crazy, the fans were giving him a standing ovation and you could just feel that everyone in the building was thrilled to be a part of what they just witnessed.
At that point it seemed inevitable that the Jets would tie the game…and even with under two minutes left you just had a feeling they were going to score. With 1:33 left in the game, Matthieu Perrault found himself alone in front of the net and he banged home the game tying goal on assists from Blake Wheeler and Patrick Laine.
Overtime almost wasn’t fair to the older Carolina Hurricanes. Paul Maurice kept sending out young, electric players…Scheifele, Wheeler, Ehlers, Conner, Laine, Byfuglien…and 2:41 into overtime, Scheifele scored the game winner on a beautiful pass from Blake Wheeler. The building erupted and the Jets poured onto the ice to swarm Scheif…
- Bryan Little got injured early in the first; let’s hope its not serious.
- Great seeing the WHA championship banners hanging in the MTS Centre.
- JUMP…the Jets new/old goal song!!! Love it.
- Great seeing all the improvements that True North has made to the arena.
- Did you watch that game Jacob Trouba…as you destroy your career.
- Nice game by Josh Morrisey.
- Our defence is going to be a work in progress this season.
- Jets opened OT with our three captains on the ice: 26, 55 and 33.
- Once the Jets got their mojo in the 3rd, they were something to watch.
- It’s just one game, but it was tantalizing to see what could be with this team.
- Once Laine was put on a line with Wheels and Scheif, they just clicked.
- Great penalty kill by Joel Armia.
- “Loved hearing the roar from the crowd.” Shawn Mathias
- That was quite the skating display by Nic Ehlers in OT…wow!!