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The Heritage Classic never ceases to amaze. It’s always a league wide spectacle and this one lived up to the hype. Although the teams struggled to score for much of the game, there was exciting action both ways as the game went along. The most exciting parts happened at the end of the game with Morrissey tying the game late in the third period and Little winning it in overtime. It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but the Jets will gladly take a much needed victory in the 2019 Heritage Classic.

First Period

You never know what an outdoor game is going to bring as so many factors go into the ice conditions. As expected, the game began fairly slow as both teams felt out the ice and the weather conditions.

After the opening shifts were done, it was Calgary who had the best scoring chance as Gaudreau managed to get behind the Jets defense for a partial breakaway.

After that, both teams traded chances but nobody was able to convert. The Jets had a powerplay but couldn’t muster anything on it. With nothing on the ice happening, people had to turn towards other things to keep occupied in the first period.

Also, the Jets weren’t the only ones having trouble with the conditions. The fans at home had an entirely different issue to deal with while watching the game on TV.

Second Period

The second period began as the first ended. Both teams had some changes but neither team could shovel one into the net.

The Jets had another couple powerplays but couldn’t get anything going even though they had some better puck movement between Wheeler and Laine.

Midway through the period things took a different turn as Calgary found themselves on the man-advantage for the first time in the game. Unlike Winnipeg, they were able to score as Hellebuyck slid out of the crease on a bad angle shot.

But hold on!?! Cameras still exist outdoors and Winnipeg thought that the puck got held in with a high-stick. Maurice waved the challenge flag to try and negate the opening goal.

Even though replays seemed to showed otherwise, the refs apparently found no evidence to overturn the call and the goal stood.

With the first goal in the books, the game began to pick up with teams throwing more pucks on net and getting much more physical. That all came to a head at the end of the period as Lowry threw a hard hit in the corner as a Flame had his back turned to him. It caused a massive scrum as time expired and got us set for an interesting third period.

Third Period

I’m not sure anybody was surprised with how the third period went. Both teams struggled to get quality chances as they battled the conditions and the goalies were able to turn away everything thrown their way.

It wasn’t until the end of the period that Winnipeg was able to get a really strong chance on goal. It was Roslovic who found himself all alone on a breakaway but Rittich made the save. However, Copp was hooked as everyone went for the rebound so the Jets were back to the powerplay for the fourth time of the game.

Even though the first few didn’t go so well, the Jets finally scored a goal as Morrissey wired one into the corner from the blue line. This goal made history as it was Winnipeg’s first ever Heritage Classic goal. If you recall, the Jets were shutout 3-0 against the Oilers a few years ago.

Overtime

It was the rare four on three powerplay as the Flames got called for tripping in the opening minute of overtime. Even with a full two minutes powerplay, the Jets weren’t able to score and the game kept going.

With the game back to three on three, Winnipeg managed to spring a two on one as Connor fed the puck across to Little. Little shoveled it home and the Jets emerged victorious as the 2019 Heritage Classic winners.

TL;DR Why the Jets Won

We knew goals would be tough to score. The Jets got the majority of shots and were eventually able to sneak two into the net through sheer determination. A well executed two on one in overtime ended the game with Little scoring the OT winner.

Jetsnation’s Top Gun

Connor Hellebuyck earns the Top Gun award tonight as he played excellent all game. It’s always tough as a goaltender to try and track pucks with different lighting and elements, but Hellebuyck cut off angles and smothered rebounds all game long.

Boxscore

Next Flight

The Jets keep heading west and continue to take on the Pacific division as they face the Ducks on Tuesday evening. Luckily that game will be a little bit warmer because California is a little bit nicer than Saskatchewan this time of year.


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