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Heritage Classic

Heritage Classic showcase for Teemu Selanne

Scores five points, winning goal on penalty shot, when Winnipeg defeats Edmonton

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

WINNIPEG -- A perfect afternoon of hockey, filled with instant memories, needed a perfect ending Saturday.

Teemu Selanne of the Winnipeg Jets delivered it, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

Selanne scored the winning goal on a penalty shot in the final seconds, using one of his trademark breakaway moves to beat Edmonton Oilers goalie Curtis Joseph, to give the Jets a 6-5 victory in the 2016 Rogers NHL Heritage Classic Alumni Game at Investors Group Field.

It was Selanne's second goal and, combined with three assists, he had a hand in five of the six Jets goals. 

Each of Selanne's goals came on a penalty shot, which was awarded for every penalty called.

"The game ended as it should end, with the best player on the ice on the home team scoring a big goal," said Wayne Gretzky, the captain of the Oilers alumni team. "Good for him, good for the franchise and good for the city."

And good for hockey. 

Video: Heritage Alumni: Selanne's game-winning penalty shot

Saturday delivered all that could be asked for by any hockey fan, including the 31,317 who packed the stadium on a picture-perfect fall day where the temperature was 52 degrees under a sunny sky as the players took the ice.

The day was a celebration of hockey's past, particularly here and in Edmonton. It was the first time Winnipeg alumni had gathered as a group here in two decades.

The Oilers brought a team loaded with legends. Selanne joked that he tried to count the number of times members of the Oilers won the Stanley Cup, but he lost track at 50.

If Selanne had finished counting, he would have reached 62 for the 23 Edmonton players.

Winnipeg countered with the biggest icons the city has known, putting Selanne and Dale Hawerchuk on the top line with Kris King, who had two goals. Thomas Steen centered another line and Teppo Numminen and Dave Babych anchored the defense.

But, as Selanne noted, there was a clear difference in the accomplishments between the two rosters. In NHL history, Edmonton and Winnipeg met six times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Oilers won every series. The Jets won just four games.

But on this afternoon the game belonged to the Jets, although that wasn't decided until the final seconds.

Selanne scored in the first period, a sweet backhand into the top of the net.

"I knew I was going to score," Selanne said

Then Selanne turned playmaker, setting up two of Winnipeg's next three goals as the Jets took a 4-1 lead. King scored his first, Hawerchuk got one and Mike Eagles scored the prettiest goal of the game on a 2-on-1 break.

Video: Heritage Alumni: Selanne scores with slick backhand

Then the Oilers took control.

Craig Simpson made it 4-2 and Mark Messier scored with his patented wrist shot to cut the deficit to one. Craig MacTavish tied it and Blair MacDonald put the Oilers ahead 5-4.

"[We] still hate to lose," Edmonton's Dave Semenko said. "You could see how the game was picking up near the end, and the intensity, because everyone wants to win."

The Jets pressed for an equalizer and Winnipeg coach Tom McVie kept putting the Selanne line on the ice hoping for a moment of magic.

"Tommy had the right line combinations out there late," Winnipeg's Eddie Olczyk said. "A lot of us were trying to get out there but we all sat for the last five minutes and Duck (Hawerchuk), Selanne and Kinger kept coming out there. It was like a revolving door. It worked."

Video: Heritage Alumni: EDM 5, WPG 6

Even if it exacted a heavy price to three guys that have not played much hockey the past two years.

"Do we have Advil?" Hawerchuk said as he walked into the press conference.

King tied the game and Selanne performed his game-winning heroics after he was tripped by Craig Simpson in the Winnipeg end.

"It's what fatigue and not playing in two years does to you," Simpson said. "But I watched [teammate Glenn Anderson] get blown up in front of me. He got knocked into the boards, and I go, 'That should be a penalty.' Then I just jumped around him and just made a stupid play."

Selanne responded with a brilliant play and the Jets had finally won an important game against their rival.

"We knew Teemu would find a way, and he did," King said. "And it was probably the right ending." 

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