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Jets rookies trounce Sharks

PENTICTON, B.C. — As debuts go, it was a dandy — akin to hitting a hole-in-one off the first tee, of slamming a homer into the upper deck in the first at bat, of painting a masterpiece upon picking up a brush for the first time or scoring a goal on a first shift.

Yes, weeks from now — heck, as early as later today — it will be nothing but a distant memory and a forgotten chapter in the rebirth of the Winnipeg Jets. But Monday night’s 4-0 win over the San Jose Sharks at the South Okanagan Events Centre in their first contest at the Young Stars tournament offered up enough memorable moments to turn Jets’ fans — already buzzing about the club’s return — positively giddy.

Winnipeg Jets Mark Scheifele (45) scores a shorthanded goal. The rookies for the Winnipeg Jets and the San Jose Sharks took to the ice at South Okanagan Events Centre arena in the Young Stars tournament in Penticton, B.C., Monday evening.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Winnipeg Jets Mark Scheifele (45) scores a shorthanded goal. The rookies for the Winnipeg Jets and the San Jose Sharks took to the ice at South Okanagan Events Centre arena in the Young Stars tournament in Penticton, B.C., Monday evening. Photo Store

Winnipeg Jets Mark Scheifele (45) scores a shorthanded goal during the first period in rookie action against the San Jose Sharks rookies in Penticton, B.C.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Winnipeg Jets Mark Scheifele (45) scores a shorthanded goal during the first period in rookie action against the San Jose Sharks rookies in Penticton, B.C. Photo Store

Among them:

  • A highlight-of-the-night goal by first-round pick Mark Scheifele, who scored a short-handed goal with a dandy forehand-backhand deke and then set up Jason Gregoire on a gem of a pass. Scheifele, it says here, was the best player on the ice and left little doubt the Jets’ selection of him seventh overall — panned by some critics on draft day in June — was warranted;
  • The steady performance by goaltender Edward Pasquale, who kicked out all 27 shots for the win and the shutout;
  • A solid all-round effort by defenceman Zach Redmond, the former Ferris State star who work the captain’s ‘C’ for the Jets;
  • A gritty game by Klarc Wilson, the former Edmonton Oil Kings/Brandon Wheat King who is in camp on a free-agent tryout;
  • The work of Gregoire, who also hit the post and looked very comfy on the wing with Scheifele and Carl Klingberg;
  • The dandy first goal by Levko Koper, the seventh-round draft pick of the Thrashers who had 82 points last year for the Spokane Chiefs. Koper, FYI, is also in camp on a free-agent tryout and potted an empty-netter with 46.3 seconds remaining;
  • And, finally a spirited collective effort by the squad, including three fights by Wilson, Ben Chiarot and Austen Brassard.

The Jets are back on the ice Tuesday night (9:30 p.m. CT, 1290 Sports Radio) against the Edmonton Oilers, have just a practice day Wednesday before wrapping up the tourney with a matinee against the Vancouver Canucks (1:30 p.m. CT) on Thursday.

Main training camp for the entire squad goes Saturday, Sept. 17th at MTS Centre.

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

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History

Updated on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 10:22 PM CDT: Adds link to live broadcast

11:47 PM: Updates with final score.

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