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GAME DAY: Jets look to bounce back at Young Stars against Edmonton

9:30pm CT - TV: JetsTV; Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MClinton007 / WinnipegJets.com

Video: JetsTV Road Report

The Winnipeg Jets continue the 2017 Young Stars Classic tonight against the Edmonton Oilers at 9:30pm CT in Penticton, BC.

You can watch the game LIVE right here on WinnipegJets.com, as the Jets' official YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/NHLJets) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/nhljets/) pages beginning at 9:15pm CT.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL ROSTER

PENTICTON, BC - If Pascal Vincent had his way, the Winnipeg Jets prospects would take last night's second period, and have his team play it three times over tonight against the Edmonton Oilers.

"The compete level, being on the puck, being intense. I thought we played it pretty good," said the Manitoba Moose head coach. "Watching the game on the video after in slow motion, there was a lot of confusion of where they were supposed to be on the ice. So I want to see the second period again. I think if we play that way, we give ourselves a chance to have a game. The purpose of this is to showcase their skills, and we want to see how bad they want to compete."

The Jets turned a 3-1 deficit after 20 minutes into a one-goal game through 40, thanks to Jansen Harkins' first goal of the tournament. Vincent believes the team's compete level was a big part of that, and felt the play of 2017 seventh round pick Skyler McKenzie - who assisted on Harkins' goal - was a good example of that.


Video: PREGAME | Leon Gawanke

"He was one of the guys that was competing hard. Smaller player, but he was moving his feet," said Vincent. "He's got good vision. Those smaller players, I'm thinking of Mathieu Perreault with the Jets. You're on the puck, you're not a big guy, but you're on the puck. You're hard to play against. He played that kind of game last night for us."

McKenzie is coming off a season with 42 goals and 84 points with the WHL's Portland Winterhawks in 2016-17. While Vincent compares the 19-year-old's game to Perreault, McKenzie says he actually models his game after two other familiar names.

"The two Portland alum guys with Winnipeg now, Chase De Leo and Nic Petan. I really look up to those guys, and I've modelled my game since I was 15 after those guys," said McKenzie. "I learned off them. I watched them in practice every day, and it helped me out big time."

Looking ahead to tonight's match-up with Edmonton, McKenzie feels he'll be less nervous, now that his first game in Jets colours is behind him.

Video: PREGAME | Skyler McKenzie

"I had a couple chances where I could have shot yesterday, and I think the nerves got the best of me, and I made a pass when I should have shot," he said. "I felt a little nervous in the first couple shifts. Got the cobwebs out and felt a little better after that."

After Mikhail Berdin's 35-save performance last night, Jamie Phillips will get the start in goal tonight. Phillips split last season between Tulsa in the ECHL and Manitoba in the AHL, posting a 0.906 save percentage in 11 games with the Moose.

Puck drop is set for 9:30 pm CT, with the game streaming live on WinnipegJets.com.

Video: PREGAME | Pascal Vincent

ICE CHIPS

The second of two 2017 Draft picks on the Young Stars roster, defenceman Leon Gawanke, didn't immediately catch Vincent's eye last night. But the head coach says that's not a bad thing, especially for a defenceman.

"He's not flashy, he's really effective. His ability to read what's going to happen next defensively for him is really good. Reading the plays collectively on the defensive side of the puck is really good," said Vincent. "He was drafted because of that… He had a good game overall."

The 18-year-old Gawanke played his first season in North America in 2016-17 with Cape Breton of the QMJHL. Since being drafted, he says he's focused on getting stronger to help him adjust to playing at a higher level.

"Those guys are big. You have to get used to using your stick more than your body," said Gawanke. "I worked a lot on my defensive skills, like on 1-on-1 box out. I worked a lot in the gym to get bigger and stronger so it's easier for me to box out."

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