It would’ve felt a lot better if we came out on top there. I kind of blacked out there when I scored. I think when I sit back and see it again it’ll be nice. - Josh Jooris
COLUMBUS, OH -- It’s a loss Josh Jooris won’t soon forget for all the right reasons.
Playing in his first career NHL game, Jooris took a 125-foot pass from Mark Giordano before barreling in alone on Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky and placing a shot in the top right corner to net his first career National Hockey League goal.
“I was just thinking ‘put this in’,” Jooris said. “I don’t know actually what I was thinking at the time. It happened so quick. It was just a great play by [Giordano] there. He let me know what to do right before hand. That’s what happened. He told me to bust through the middle and he was going to hit me and he did. I’m just happy it went in.
“It would’ve felt a lot better if we came out on top there. I kind of blacked out there when I scored. I think when I sit back and see it again it’ll be nice.”
The goal came at 11:43 of the third period and pulled Calgary to within one goal of the Blue Jackets.
But despite a late push that featured 14 shots directed on Bobrovsky, the Flames couldn’t complete a comeback after falling down 3-0 after goals from Jack Skille, Ryan Johansen and Matt Calvert.
A goal from Mason Raymond and Jooris’ first were as close as the Flames could get to drawing even.
But despite the loss, Jooris’ debut served as a good introduction to the league coach Bob Hartley admitted.
“I was very impressed of Josh during training camp and we saw the same young man,” Hartley said. “He’s on the puck, he has speed. This game is about speed. You need to skate if you want to contribute in today’s game. He’s a good young man. He wants to learn. He brings a lot.
“He’s responsible defensively and he gave us a big goal, his first goal in the NHL. I’m very proud of him.”
Jooris came into the game against the Blue Jackets well rested.
He’s logged just two games with the Adirondack Flames this season -- the most recent of which came Saturday. He was scheduled to play 24 hours ago against the Rockford IceHogs, but was instead summoned to join Calgary in Columbus after forward David Jones was placed on the IR.
His jump showed.
“I felt good,” Jooris said. “I mean, it’s my first NHL game and I think these guys have played, they’ve been on the road for a while and I come in here and I haven’t played since Saturday in Adirondack. I had some legs there. It’s 100 times more when it’s your first one. I had energy and I felt it. The thing going forward is to keep it up.”
Jooris is expected to stick with the Flames.
The goal puck isn’t, however. It’ll be on its way home with mom JoAnn and dad Mark, who were in attendance along with sister Alexa to watch the 24-year-old in his first rip.
“I’m going to give it to my parents for sure to take home,” Jooris said. “It’s going to be nice to keep. It’s going to be a good keepsake.”