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Jets drop Young Stars opener to Calgary

Coach Vincent Finds Positives in Loss

by Mitchell Clinton @MClinton007 / WinnipegJets.com

Jansen Harkins put the Winnipeg Jets prospects on the board in the opening period, but it wouldn't hold up, as the Calgary Flames peppered Jets netminders with 27 shots in the final two periods, en route to a 4-1 Calgary win.

"We have to make some better decisions with the puck. I thought we had a good start to the first and the second. Then we started to make some little plays," said coach Pascal Vincent. "When it's not there, it's not there. That's pro hockey.

"We just have to make smarter decisions overall. But that's the learning process."

Eleven minutes into the opening frame, Harkins put the Jets on the board. When a two-on-one opened up off a transition play in the neutral zone, Harkins snapped a low bullet past Jon Gillies' stick side.

"To get chances, you really have to capitalize and bear down. I was happy I was able to in the first," said Harkins. "Obviously it was a tough game for us, and we want to win as many as we can here. We'll just put that one behind us and take what we can from it."

Jamie Phillips was a monster between the pipes in the first, making two big glove saves, one off a shorthanded breakaway chance. In total, the former Michigan Tech goaltender stopped 15 shots in the opening 20 minutes.

"I got that first shot and made the save, and after that it comes back to you really fast," Phillips said about shaking off the off-season rust. "It feels good to get a lot of shots early, especially in exhibition like this. It gets your confidence up and hopefully carry that into the season."

But Phillips couldn't stop them all. Calgary would tie it up 30 seconds into the second, as a point shot went off the body of another Phillips, this one being Matthew Phillips of the Flames. He found the loose puck in front of the Jets' crease and slid it past the outstretched leg of Jamie Phillips.

Video: POST-GAME | Jamie Phillips

The Flames extended their lead with just over a minute remaining in the same period, when 20-year-old Andrew Mangiapane got loose in front, and wired a wrist shot from the high slot past Mikhail Berdin.

Just under nine minutes into the third, Calgary would add to the lead. Ryan Lomberg was able to find a loose puck that banked off Berdin and a couple skates in front, and deposited it in the empty cage to make it 3-1.

With 7:48 remaining in regulation, the Flames made it 4-1. Austin Carroll set up shop in front of Berdin, and deflected a point shot past Winnipeg's 2016 sixth-round selection, increasing the lead to 4-1.

Despite allowing three goals, Vincent was happy with Berdin's play, as well as Phillips'.

"I thought our two goalies were excellent," Vincent said. "They controlled rebounds, they were aggressive, they had a presence in the net. I really liked them."

Tempers flared late, with a combined seven players being sent off after a scrum broke out in the Jets' zone with 5:16 on the clock. Logan Stanley and Nelson Nogier were each handed ten-minute misconducts, while Brendan Lemieux was tagged with five minutes for fighting.

Next action for the Jets is Sunday afternoon against the Edmonton Oilers at 4 pm CT. The game will be streamed live on WinnipegJets.com, as well as the team's Facebook page.

ICE CHIPS

Vincent liked what he saw from Kyle Connor and Jack Roslovic in their first appearances in a Jets' uniform tonight.

"They made some plays, you can see there are some skills there. First pro game, I'm quite proud of the way they handled the whole game actually," said Vincent. "Very positive on the bench, (and) two good kids. Those two prospects are quite exciting."

Connor finished the night with four shots on goal and had two grade 'A' chances, including a breakaway. Though he didn't find the score sheet tonight, he's not concerned.

"I thought I was seeing the ice pretty well, and a lot of good passes from my teammates," said Connor. "I think I was getting chances. Sooner or later, it will come."

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