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Tough start to Rookie Showcase for Jets prospects

Jets fall 8-1 to host Ottawa Senators Friday night in Belleville

by Jamie Thomas @JamieThomasTV / Winnipeg Jets

BELLEVILLE ON - Well, that wasn't the start the Winnipeg Jets' rookies hoped for.

With the score tied 1-1 after 20 minutes, the host Ottawa Senators used a six goal second period to knock off the Jets 8-1 Friday night.

Ottawa dressed six players who have played a combined 51 games in the National Hockey League and that was something Jets coach Pascal Vincent said was going to be a challenge for his group.

"I didn't mind the first period. We didn't like the second period and the third period we said 'listen we got to play that game and finish right and play it properly'," said Vincent.

"We are here to evaluate our players and how they can react. We did the same thing last year (in Penticton at the Young Stars Tournament, a 8-2 loss to Vancouver), it was not very pretty and we got better and better. There's a lot of room to improve."

The Jets opened the scoring at 8:35 of the first period on a three-on-two rush, started by Cole Maier who fed Ryan Chyzowski and he slid a perfect pass to a wide open James Phelan who snapped a low shot past to make it 1-0.

"I'm here to showcase what I can do. Obviously it would be a little more fun to win while doing it," said Phelan who played 48 games between the AHL and ECHL last season.

"I'm here to earn a contract so I'm showing off my speed, my grit and a little bit of my scoring touch. It feels good (to score)."

Ottawa would get that back just under two minutes later during a delayed penalty call, Parker Kelly fired a puck at the net and it would go off a Jets defenceman and through the pads of starting goaltender Adam Carlson.

The Sens had a chance to take the lead when Alex Formenton was sent in alone but Carlson made his best save of the opening 20 minutes with his blocker.

The Sens took over in the second period starting with a power play goal 33 seconds into the middle frame and by the time Logan Brown rounded out the scoring with 1:31 left, it was 7-1 for the home team.

"Our compete level, our one-on-one battles. You know in the first period I thought we were strong on the puck and we were making them battle for their first and second opportunities. We were making plays," said C.J. Suess.

"In the second we weren't playing hard in the corners; we weren't in on the forecheck and we weren't getting in on their goalie. If we're not doing that, we're not going to be successful."

Carlson was pulled by Vincent after giving up seven goals on 27 shots but it was not because of his performance.

"I told him, 'I apologize'. But we have to protect him," said Vincent.

"But there are a lot of things we can work on and a lot of things we can build (on)."

Griffen Outhouse started the third period in goal for the Jets and made seven saves and allowed a Brown goal with 5:00 minutes left in the game.

The Jets will practice on Saturday before returning to game action on Sunday at 6 p.m. CT against the Montreal Canadiens.

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