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Rookie Jooris' hat trick helps Flames top Coyotes

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames forward Josh Jooris didn't hesitate to pinpoint that his previous hat trick came in his first game as a freshman with Union College four years ago. He didn't expect his next one to come Tuesday.

Calgary goaltender Karri Ramo didn't keep his shutout streak going, but Jooris got his first NHL hat trick to lead the Flames to a 5-2 victory against the Arizona Coyotes at Scotiabank Saddledome.

"You dream to score your first goal in the NHL. You dream to be here, first of all," said Jooris, a rookie who went undrafted and signed with the Flames in July 2013 after three years at Union. "To score a hat trick, that's just an added bonus."

Calgary (16-8-2) extended its winning streak to three games, including back-to-back victories against Arizona (10-13-3). The Flames have four wins in their past five games and seven in their past nine.

"We've just got to keep this rolling here," Jooris said. "We can't take it for granted. We've just got to keep coming to work every day. As soon as you start getting complacent, that's when things will take a turn for the worse. I think we've got a great group in here that keeps us even keel and we just come to work every day."

The Coyotes' loss, their fourth in five games, left them with a split on a two-game road trip through Alberta; Arizona defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Monday.

"We seem to be caught in this rut where we winning one then losing one," Coyotes forward Sam Gagner said. "We have to find a way to string some wins together and make sure we're playing consistently. We've got a schedule coming up that works in our favor and we have to make sure we take advantage of it and it stars going home here."

Jooris' second goal of the night broke a 2-2 tie in the second period and put the Flames ahead to stay.

Jooris cut to the net, took a return pass from fellow rookie Johnny Gaudreau, deked Mike Smith and lifted a shot that skipped off the Arizona goaltender and into the net at 7:13 to put Calgary ahead 3-2.

"I just knew it was coming," said Jooris, a veteran of 19 NHL games. "I called for it and I didn't even have to call for it. He saw me and made a great play there. I got a pretty fortunate bounce there. I think it trickled over his stick. I was going five-hole but he took it away. Luckily it went in."

Jooris' game-winner came after Gagner had tied the game 2-2 at 2:02 of the second. Seconds after Mark Giordano's high-sticking minor expired, Gagner, parked at the faceoff dot to Ramo's left, found the rebound of Keith Yandle's shot and fired the puck into a virtually empty net for his third goal.

Having outscored opponents 35-14 in the third period this season entering Tuesday, the Flames continued that roll to improve to 8-0-0 when leading after 40 minutes.

They made it 4-2 at 8:46 when Dennis Wideman gained the Coyotes zone before leaving the puck for Sean Monahan. The second-year center corralled the puck out of the feet of defenseman Michael Stone and sent a wrist shot from the hash marks past Smith.

Jooris completed his hat trick by hitting the empty net with 45.2 seconds remaining and Smith on the bench in favor of an extra attacker.

He knew his mission walking in alone on a breakaway with an empty net.

"Just don't miss," said Jooris, whose eight goals are tied with Wideman for third on the Flames. "I didn't think about it going out. We're aware there's an empty net but if you start cheating offense that's where they can capitalize quick. I didn't try to cheat anytime. I think I was just fortunate I got out there at the right time. [Hudler] made a great play to Johnny [Gaudreau], and Johnny made a great play to get it out. It was just a good play by those guys. I wasn't thinking about it though.

"I wasn't really thinking. When I realized I had a clear break I was feeling it and feeling it and just kind of ripped it in. It was an exciting time, I guess."

Ramo entered the game with back-to-back shutouts and without having allowed a goal in 134:34. His streak ended early against the Coyotes, but he did earn his fifth straight victory.

After David Jones opened the scoring for the Flames, Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson sent a seeing-eye point shot past a screened Ramo at 8:25 of the first period to tie the game 1-1 and end the shutout streak at 142:59.

"I didn't even know. I didn't even think about it," Ramo said. "Hopefully we'll save it to another time.

"He kind of shot it into the traffic. I just tried to be big. I didn't see it at all and it caught the corner there. It was a good shot. I was kind of surprised it didn't hit anybody, neither their guy or our guy, on the way. It happens."

But with 1:24 remaining in the period, defenseman Kris Russell carried the puck over Arizona's blue line and backhanded a saucer pass through the slot to a streaking Jooris, who tapped it in to restore Calgary's goal lead heading into the first intermission.

"I don't think anyone was [expecting the pass]," Jooris said. "It was one of the better passes I've ever seen. It landed right on my stick. I just had to whack it in. And to be on a backhand, too. He just spun around and found me. I saw him look up when he cut back. He looked before he passed. I was expecting maybe it'd trickle through or hit a shin pad or something, let alone absolutely right on my tape. It was a pretty nice pass."

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