The Winnipeg Jets Rookies put on an impressive offensive showing led by former 3rd round pick, Scott Kosmachuk and Axel Blomqvist who scored twice and goaltender Eric Comrie who made 36 saves in a 7-2 rout of the Edmonton Oilers Prospects at the Young Stars Classic.
“Believe it or not, I thought our game was better tonight,” said Oilers Prospects Head Coach Todd Nelson. “We had some pretty good shifts and we had pressure. I thought their goaltender played great. We finally got to him in the third but we put a lot of shots on net. It’s just one of those things where their goalie played well and they came at us pretty hard.”
3:31 into the game Winnipeg jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when physical play sent bodies falling all over the Oilers defensive zone. Chase Schaber was clipped in the slot and lost the puck out in front of goaltender Philippe Cadorette.
After being jostled around, the puck was freed to Nic Petan and the Jets prospect perfectly skated across the crease and pushed the puck in.
Winnipeg wasted no time growing that lead when Scott Kosmachuck took the puck in from center. He shot the puck which was deflected in the air and while still skating to the net, Kosmachuck deftly and skillfully batted the puck in out of mid-air.
The Jets scored again courtesy of Mitchell Theoret on the power play in the middle of a jumble out in front of Cadorette and took a 3-0 first period lead.
The Oilers appeared to be outplaying the Jets in the second period, controlling the physicality and the tempo. Sparked by a Ty Bilke fight, in which he cut Jean Dupuy’s eye with a heavy left, the Oilers looked like they were making a comeback.
“Ty had a good fight and that will always get the boys going," said winger Kyle Platzer. "So it was good to see and we built off of it. We had them hemmed in for a while but a couple of bounces didn’t go our way. It’s nothing to dwell on. I think we’re doing a lot of good things out there and we’ll be fine.”
“That’s why he was drafted and stuff," said team captain and defenceman, Brandon Davidson. "He’s a great guy and he knows his job and his job is to do that and it seemed to have worked. That’s when we got our feet moving and we started pursuing the puck in the offensive zone. It was just the spark we needed and kudos to him he put up a good fight and took that one.”
Bilcke claims that he knew Dupuy from the OHL and his sparring partner had asked him to fight before the game, but the time wasn't right until that moment.
"My role is to get the bench going and get guys up and that was the time I had to do it," said Bilcke. "I stepped up at the right time and the guys kind of got going after that and got some energy going"
Then, it was the Jets who fired their engines and scored three straight goals to take a 6-0 lead at the end of two.
Kosmachuck scored his second of the game and the team’s sixth at 14:32 of the second when a shot on Cadorette rebound long and right to the winger who was waiting in the slot.
He shot the puck with no traffic in front and the Jets jumped out to their 6-0 lead.
With less than four minutes remaining in the second, Oilers prospect Jackson Houck was hit from behind into the wall by Josh Morrissey and suffered a head injury. He did not return and Morrissey was assessed a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct.
At 4:55 of the third period, the Oilers Platzer scored with a beautiful shot from the left circle, unassisted, to make the score 6-1.
“Just pounced on that bouncing puck and we had a 2-on-1 and we were stressing shots between periods so I just fired it and it worked out," said the forward.
Platzer was drafted 96th overall in Round 4 of the 2013 NHL Draft by Edmonton.
Then Winnipeg’s Blomqvist iced the cake for the Jets by stealing the puck off of the stick of Austin Fyten right in front of the Oilers net and making it 7-2 with less than two minutes to play.
The Oilers Prospects take on the Vancouver Canucks Rookies tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. MDT.
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