Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bogo rides to rescue

First pummels Kane taunter, then tallies shootout winner

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TORONTO -- It was no surprise fisticuffs broke out again between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets.

The Leafs lead the league in fighting majors and the two teams had a spiriting battle Tuesday night in Winnipeg when the Jets won, 5-2.

But it was eye-catching who was in the middle of the dust-up after a predictable early bout between Toronto's Colton Orr and Winnipeg's Chris Thorburn.

Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian threw himself into the melee at 8:22 of the opening period, racing in from the blue-line to pound on Toronto's Korbinian Holzer.

Holzer had battled with Winnipeg's Evander Kane several times in the game's opening minutes, then near the Toronto net in this particular instance, threw down his gloves and went at Kane.

Kane did not engage, but Bogosian did and received an instigator minor, fighting major and misconduct for his actions.

"He (Kane) is on the ice to score goals," Bogosian said not long after becoming the true visiting villain by scoring in the 10th round of the shootout to decide the game in Winnipeg's favour. "He's not out there to fight. I just thought it was the right opportunity to keep him on the ice. He's a big asset to our team. I'm sure one of their guys would do it if somebody was trying to fight one of their top guys.

"It's part of the game. We need Evander on the ice to score goals for us."

Bogosian was asked why he appeared angry as he roughed up Holzer.

"That's what happens when you fight, I guess," he said. "You kind of flip a switch there a little bit."

Kane said later he was rather happy to see Bogosian intervene.

"He's such a good teammate," Kane said. "He's a pretty tough guy. I wasn't expecting that, but he definitely answered the bell and it was nice to see him get that goal in the shootout."

Asked why he didn't fight, Kane said: "We were just battling down low and the next thing I know, he just dropped his gloves. I saw the referee's hand go up so I said, 'Why would I? I'll take the power play.' Then Bogo came in and finished him off pretty good."

When he got to his feet and skated to the penalty box, Holzer was chirping and clapping his hands mockingly in Bogosian's direction.

What was he saying?

"I don't know," Kane replied. "I couldn't understand what he was saying. He had some marbles in his mouth."

Bogosian only had four penalty minutes in his first 15 games since returning from off-season wrist surgery.

Amazingly, the game didn't have a single penalty after the first period, and finally ended when Bogosian snapped home a goal on Toronto netminder James Reimer in the 10th round of shots.

Why Bogosian at that point, Jets coach Claude Noel was asked.

"Once a stallion, always a stallion," Noel said. "You know how he is. He's always been one. He's looking at me like he wants to go so I'm (saying), 'Yeah.' I'm trying to find people and he gave me the look."

It was Winnipeg's eighth chance to win the game with one shot.

"It was a fun game to be a part of and to end it like that was pretty cool," said Bogosian, whose only other career shootout attempt didn't succeed in a game in Phoenix in his rookie season. "But there were a lot of other guys on the ice that did a lot of good things tonight, too.

"We just have to make sure to move to tomorrow and get the job done."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 17, 2013 B2

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