BELLEVILLE ON - If the Winnipeg Jets coaching staff were looking to see improvement from the from the young prospects from the start of the weekend, well, mission accomplished.
Cole Maier scored the lone goal for the Jets who closed out the 2019 Rookie Showcase Tournament 2-1 overtime loss to the host Ottawa Senators to finish 1-1-1 over their three games.
"I liked our compete. I liked the fact they understood a little bit more what we expected from them system wise," said head coach Pascal Vincent.
"We were talking a bit more today, more than yesterday. I thought overall we got better as the tournament went along."
Video: ROOKIE CAMP | Pascal Vincent
Perhaps the biggest difference on the night was the Jets ineffectiveness with the man advantage as they went 0-4 on the power play including a 5-on-3 that didn't generate a whole lot in terms of chances.
"We had a hard time connecting on the power play and when we had a chance to shoot the puck, we didn't shoot the puck," said Vincent.
"The ice wasn't, it was hard to make plays. We weren't connecting up high or even down low. It should have been a shooting mentality a bit more. But our focus (in the tournament) is not on special teams."
A lot of eyes were on a couple of Jets first rounders heading into the tournament in Kristian Vesalainen and Ville Heinola. Heinola scored once and got more comfortable as the weekend went by especially when it came to skating with the puck. Meanwhile, Vesalainen didn't find the score sheet but caught the eye of the coaching staff for other parts of his game.
"I've seen it in the past (with) guys like this. Yeah they want to do well but their mind is in Winnipeg with the big boys," said Vincent on Vesalainen.
"I think if you look at the details of his game, he was trying to do the little things. Coming back hard, his stick was good. But we expect more offensively and that's probably the part he didn't like."
For the third straight game Winnipeg opened the scoring in the first period. This time it was real quick, 1:41 in, Cole Maier took a pass from Kristian Reichel and fired in a low shot glove side for a 1-0 lead.
"It was good. It was a real good forecheck by Nault and (Kristian) Reichel got it to me," said Maier.
"Sort of a gift right in the slot there and I was lucky enough to slide it home."
Video: ROOKIE CAMP | Cole Maier
The Senators would get that one back on the power play, Josh Norris converting on a nice cross ice pass from Alex Formenton beating Adam Carlson short side at 10:43.
Griffen Outhouse came in with 9:23 left in the second and made a huge stop on Max Veronneau with just over 5 minutes left in the period. Outhouse had to lunge from his left to his right and stuck out his pad to keep it 1-1.
Outhouse came up big in the third with the game still tied at one taking a shot of the mask on in tight opportunity from Sens defenceman Trent Bourque.
The game went to overtime where John Gruden finished things off snapping a shot over a lunging Outhouse for the winner at 3:40 mark.
The Jets will travel back to Winnipeg tomorrow morning, with main training camp beginning later this week.