It was a goal scoring affair on New Year’s Eve as the Jets and Avs scored 11 goals between them. The Jets were led by Kyle Connor who scored the second hat-trick of his career. The second line also had a great game as all three of Ehlers, Wheeler, and Roslovic had three points. Scheifele chipped in three points as well as the entire top six led the Jets to victory.

First Period

After a bit of a cold streak recently, the Jets wanted to get off to a quick start against the Avalanche. It didn’t take long for the Jets to get their first chance as Josh Morrissey rang a shot off the post in the opening minutes of the game.

Even though Morrissey couldn’t convert, it led to a few really strong shifts by the Wheeler line who dominated the ice in the first few minutes. After a few scoring chances, Wheeler opened the scoring off a nice passing play in the offensive end. He roofed it from in tight and the Jets took the lead.

The Jets scored the first goal but lost all of the momentum shortly after as the Avalanche starting throwing everything on net. They generated tons of shots on goal and Hellebuyck had to be sharp on a number of occasions. Finally the Avalanche managed to get on the board as Mackinnon wristed one from the line. There were several players in front of Hellebuyck and he didn’t even see the puck as it went past him on the glove side.

Despite the Avalanche severely out-shooting the Jets, the teams remained tied after one period as they headed into the intermission tied at one.

Second Period

The Jets came out strong once again as the second period began. They got a few quick shots and started to gain some momentum as the period went along.

Later in the period a nice bounce as Colorado was trying to break out of their own end gave Kyle Connor a wide open lane to the net. He was stopped by Grubbauer but the rebound bounced up and over the netminder and across the line to give the Jets the 2-1 lead.

The Jets got into penalty trouble shortly after that as they took back to back minors. The Jets killed the first one but weren’t able to kill the second and Nathan Mackinnon sent a rocket over the shoulder of Hellebuyck as the Avalanche tied the game.

As Mackinnon scored, Bitetto got into it in front of the net with an Avalanche player and both players were sent to the box. On the ensuing four on four play, Scheifele found an opening in the slot and one-timed a Pionk pass into the back of the net to regain the one goal lead.

The Jets headed into the third period up by a goal with a 3-2 lead.

Third Period

Things were cruising along fairly smoothly in the third period until the Jets got themselves into trouble once again. It was another penalty, this time by Kyle Connor as he got a double minor for high-sticking. As expected, the Jets PK was awful and got scored on as the puck bounced off the end boards and ricocheted to Landeskog who beat Hellebuyck to tie the game.

With the powerplays going in Colordado’s favour, it was finally time for Winnipeg to get a powerplay of their own. The Jets made quick work of the extra man and scored just seconds into the penalty. Pionk shot from the point and Connor tipped it in front of the net to fool Grubauer and give the Jets the lead for the fourth time in the game.

The night wasn’t yet over for Kyle Connor as he continued his phenomenal game with a third goal to give him the second hat-trick of his career. It came off a rebound and Connor moved around a downed Grubauer and put it in the empty net.

Things started to get crazy after that as the Avalanche pulled their goalie with three minutes left in the game. Wheeler added an empty net goal but the Avalanche came back and scored a minute later. With the score now at 6-4, the Avalanche pulled their goalie again and this time it was Ehlers who put it into the empty cage. That goal capped off a crazy ending with the Jets winning 7-4.

TL;DR Why the Jets Won

The Jets took the lead four separate times in the game as they would score and then Colordado would score. The pattern repeated multiple times but the Jets had the last laugh as they held the lead for the fourth and final time.

The Jets were opportunistic on their chances and managed to get a lot of dangerous chances despite being out-shot. With Connor scoring three goals, it was enough to put the Jets over the top.

Jetsnation Top Gun

With the second hat-trick of his career, Kyle Connor is the top gun tonight. He scored on a partial breakaway in the second period before adding two straight in the third period. One was a deflection on the powerplay and the other came off a rebound where he walked around Grubauer and put in in the net.

Any time a player scores three in a game, it’s worthy of being the top gun.


Next Flight

The Jets return to Winnipeg as they take on the Leafs on Thursday evening. It’s always fun when the Leafs come to town as it only happens once a year. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM and the action is on TSN 3. The two teams will see each other again the next week as Winnipeg visits Toronto on January 8.