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Jets get shut out by Edmonton at Young Stars Classic

Jamie Phillips turns away 36 shots in first start of tournament

by Mitchell Clinton @MClinton007 /

PENTICTON, BC - It was just one of those nights.

The Winnipeg Jets had a number of grade 'A' chances in their second outing at the Young Stars Classic, but Edmonton Oilers prospect Stuart Skinner made 26 saves to frustrate the Jets into a 3-0 loss.

The defeat is the second in as many nights for the Jets at the tournament, but Manitoba Moose head coach Pascal Vincent said the group played much better tonight than in Friday's setback against Vancouver.

"Their goalie was pretty good. We have to give him credit. He was really good. He made two major league saves. That's two goals right there," said Vincent.

"We had our chances. We're going to build on that one. That was a better game on our side. Their goalie stole the show no doubt."

Video: POSTGAME | Pascal Vincent

Edmonton would strike first 6:50 into the opening period, when Davis Koch worked puck below the goal line, and it was swept out in front by Brandon Saigeon, where Luke Coleman found space in front of Phillips to one-time a shot past the Manitoba Moose netminder's stick side.

The first quality chance for the Jets prospects came minutes later, as Jansen Harkins moved across the Oilers zone off the rush, drawing the defencemen, before sliding a back door pass to Skyler McKenzie, but he was turned away by a diving Skinner.

He wouldn't be the only one with a great chance on the night, as University of New Brunswick alum Francis Beauvillier, seeing his first action of the tournament, managed to beat Skinner, but not the post late in the game.

"If you look at the result it's frustrating," said Beauvillier. "I was tired and I just had to bend my knee a little bit more to bury that puck… That probably would have changed the game a little bit."

Video: POSTGAME | Francis Beauvillier

It would stay 1-0 until just over the midway mark of the second, when Chad Butcher benefitted from a broken play in front of the Jets net. As the Oilers centre tried to play the puck cross ice, it bounced off the skate of a Winnipeg defenceman, and back on the stick blade of Butcher, who slid it past Phillips for his third of the tournament.

The 24-year-old Phillips wouldn't let another puck beat him after that, and became the second Jets goaltender to surpass 30 saves - he stopped 36 on the night - in the tournament, after Mikhail Berdin made 35 stops the night before.

"It has been about five months since my last competitive game. It was nice to get a couple shots, and some from the outside just to get a feel for it. I felt good, and I think we played well as a team," said Phillips.

"It was hot out there, so I was sweating, but I definitely felt like I was in good form."

Video: POSTGAME | Jamie Phillips

Vincent liked what he saw from Phillips, who got into 11 games with the Moose last season, posting a .906 save percentage in his first taste of AHL action.

"Jamie was really good. I thought we did a pretty good job against a hard fore-checking team," he said. "We had a lot of good players tonight. Above and beyond the score, we're talking about the simple things that we're trying to do and the concepts of puck protection and using your body. We're seeing the guys trying to do those concepts. Whether it works or not, they're trying."

Edmonton would add an empty net goal from Joseph Gambardella with 1:19 left in regulation.

The Jets hit the practice ice tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 pm CT before closing out the tournament Monday against the Calgary Flames.

Video: HIGHLIGHTS | Oilers 3, Jets 0

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