Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Shootout ace Santorelli chips in

Grabbed by Jets off waivers recently, ex-Panther lives up to reputation

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If you were scratching your head with Claude Noel's shootout picks on Tuesday night, you weren't for long.

The Winnipeg Jets coach chose centre Mike Santorelli, snatched from waivers from Florida just two weeks ago, in the second slot and the 27-year-old centre delivered.

Again.

Santorelli is now a career 10 for 19 in the NHL's penalty-shot contests.

"He's been a scorer in his whole career, first of all, so his background is good," Noel said after the Jets' fourth straight victory at home. "You'd have to be asleep at the wheel not to know he was a scorer in shootouts in Florida. You do your work, you know. He pulled the trigger again. He's clipping along at 50 per cent.

"So that's why we put him out there."

Santorelli, who has 33 goals in 203 NHL games, said he was a bit nervous taking a shootout chance for his new team for the first time.

"I'm glad it went in," he said. "I'll help any way I can. I just kind of read off the goalie. I've got a couple of moves. I just go in thinking of one and take whatever.

"Today my was first one but I was a little bit nervous. I'm glad we got the extra point."

It gave the Jets their second shootout win of the season. The other was March 17 in Toronto.

"Every point is huge right now, especially with five games left," Santorelli said.

BIG MAN ON BOARD: The Jets announced Tuesday they have locked up one of the brightest prospects in their system by signing forward Adam Lowry to a new contract.

The 6-5, 201-pound Calgary product -- the son of longtime NHLer Dave Lowry -- signed an amateur contract with the St. John's IceCaps earlier this month and has been solid in the American Hockey League with one assist in six games. The 20-year-old is coming off a spectacular season with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League, scoring 45 goals and adding 43 assists in 72 games.

The Jets drafted Lowry in the third round, 67th overall, in the 2011 NHL entry draft.

SCOUTING THE NEXT WAVE: Jets assistant GM Craig Heisinger and a few of the organization's scouts are off to Sochi, Russia this week for the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championships, featuring a lot of the top prospects eligible for this year's draft. Hockey Canada announced their 23-player roster on Tuesday and it includes two Manitobans: goaltender Austin Lotz (St. Adolphe, Man.) of the Everett Silvertips (WHL) and defenceman Madison Bowey (Winnipeg) of the Kelowna Rockets (WHL).

Canada opens the event April 18 against Slovakia and will also face Germany, Switzerland and Sweden in the round robin.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 17, 2013 D4

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