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VANCOUVER – Christmas arrived early for Laurent Brossoit and his family.
The Winnipeg Jets' reserve keeper had a start in his hometown on Saturday night in front of more than two dozen loved ones, and then stole the show by stopping all 40 pitches he faced to lead his team to victory over Vancouver Canucks. .
Mark Scheifele scored the only goal of the game with 1min32s in the third period, stunned the fans at Rogers Arena, which was in festive and festive mood all night.
"To have so many shots and play the way it was, to have my first shutout here in the building I grew up in, it was definitely a special moment," said Brossoit, "now is 8-0-1 in nine matches this season.
Signed as a free agent on July 1 for $ 650,000, the former Edmonton Oilers reserve who spent much of the season playing for AHL has been brilliant almost every time manager Paul Maurice calls his number to give Connor a rest Hellebuyck.
"He just did not give us a reason not to start with him.As good as he is at games, he is good at practice.Hushing hard to get better all the time.A very good personality in the room and if he was on a contract I would talk about cool things about him in the long run, but we have to sign him first, "Maurice said after the game.
Winnipeg improves to 24-10-2, good for first place in the Central Division, first place in the Western Conference and second overall in the NHL, behind Tampa Bay. They are now 11-2-0 in their last 13 games as they get drive for the holidays.
"I think we deserve the same way we played the last few games, we need to take a little break and then come back," said striker Nikolaj Ehlers.
The Jets are also a perfect 10-0-0 this season when they enter the third period tied. That includes consecutive games on this trip as Ehlers broke a 3 to 3 draw Thursday night in San Jose with 3:07 pm starting, and then Scheifele got the magic of the last game on Saturday night.
"Well, what we want to do is work for the total of 60. We had a lot of chances in the first two periods, but we continue." We did not give up, we kept shooting at each other and then we broke up, "Ehlers said.
Much like the game in San Jose, the Jets were outscored by Vancouver by a score of 40-23. But all he needed was a chance when Blake Wheeler fed Dustin Byfuglien, who found Scheifele open on the left side by a perfect one-timer who defeated Jacob Markstrom. Scheifele now has 22 goals this year, second only to Patrik Laine's 23.
"It was a shredder, it was not easy." (Canucks) played very well, very well, and our goalkeeper was our best player, as it usually happens with us, at some point Wheeler and (Scheifele) connect and make just one big play in the end of the game at the end of a long period of hockey, "said Maurice.
The Jets have just completed nine games in 16 days but have overcome the storm, beating seven at a time when other Central Division clubs such as Nashville, Colorado, Dallas and Minnesota are wavering.
"We talked a lot about how to live the day so we're happy where we are, we enjoy the win and 50 points take you to half the playoffs, so there's a lot of work to be done," said Maurice.
Brossoit's eight wins are the same number as the Jets received last year from reserve goalkeepers Steve Mason (five), Michael Hutchinson (two) and Eric Comrie (one).
"It's incredible, I skated a bit with him in the summer and I knew what kind of goalkeeper we were getting." He came in and surpassed everyone's expectations. He's been incredible to us and it's great when you have two goalies coming in and out. you can rely on them basically the same way.It's great to see you playing so well, "said defender Tyler Myers.
"It's his hometown, a game before Christmas, and he can go and enjoy the family and enjoy the lock. It was a great game for him."
The Jets had some scary wounds on Saturday night.
Wheeler took a slap from Byfuglien to the middle section in the first round of the game and was in obvious distress when he went into the locker room. However, he only missed a turn and apparently was not bad at all.
"He may be the toughest guy I've ever trained in. I had guys playing with broken ribs, knee surgeries, but he left the seat several times when I did not think he'd come back. It was a triz, "said Maurice.
Brandon Tanev also carried a knee in the face during a collision in the first period and suffered some facial damage, returning to the second period with a full shield on his helmet. The Jets were already without Adam Lowry and Andrew Copp, who are dealing with upper body injuries but expected to return soon.
Winnipeg returns to action on December 27, when he receives the Calgary Flames at Bell MTS Place.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream failed, he put all his strength into becoming a professional writer.
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