Avalanche bury Jets 4-0 Featured

Written by  Published in Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg, Manitoba (NHN)-If Colorado Avalanche rookie goaltender Adam Werner has a nervous bone in his body, he's not letting on.

The 22 year-old made his NHL debut Tuesday night in unorthodox fashion, replacing starter Pavel Francouz just over half a minute into the game after Winnipeg Jets centre Mark Scheifele barrelled into him after releasing a shot.

The result was the back of Francouz's head bouncing off the ice with an almost certain concussion.

Enter Werner, who settled in quickly, stopping all 40 shots he faced in his first NHL game.

Ironically, the NHL isn't awarding Werner with a shutout because he didn't play the full game but instead awarded a team shutout to Colorado.

But that isn't fazing Werner in the least.

"You just get in there for a short time, try to have fun and play my game," said Werner. "I get a pretty great start there, an easy shot and get the feeling of the puck and the guys help me so much. It was a nice game to play for me."

Avs leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon, who had a four point night himself couldn't stop raving about Werner's performance.

“It's amazing. I'm really happy for him. It's an amazing performance for (Werner). First start ever, came in so comfortably and made some huge saves. It wasn't just an easy game for him," he said.

"He must be so proud of himself and all his family and friends I'm sure are so proud of him so it's a really cool moment for him," he added.

Nathan MacKinnon had a pair of goals and added two assists for Colorado.

Cale Makar also scored for the Avalanche (11-5-2), who won the opening game of a five-game road trip.

Joonas Donskoi had a goal and an assist.

Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 21 shots for Winnipeg, who closed out a four-game homestand with a loss.

The Jets dropped to 10-8-1.

Cale Makar put the Avalanche on the board with just under a minute remaining in the opening period.

The Colorado defenceman took a feed from Nathan MacKinnon before moving in off the left side boards and wiring a high wrister past Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.

The goal was his 5th of the season.

There was no scoring in the second period.

Nathan MacKinnon gave the Avalanche the lead early in the third when he worked a give-and-go with Matt Calvert before snapping a quick wrister past Hellebuyck, Calvert tapped the disc back to MacKinnon in the high slot before he beat the Jet goaltender high blocker side 18 seconds into the period.

The goal was his 10th of the season.

MacKinnon broke free at 7:13, blowing past the Winnipeg defence before firing a low shot past Hellebuyck to give the Avalanche a two-goal lead.

The goal was his 11th of the season.

Joonas Donskoi scored his 9th goal of the season at 13:13, knocking rebound off a Nazem Kadri shot past Hellebuyck to make it 4-0 Avalanche.

Avalanche Head Coach Jared Bednar labelled Werner as the story.

"I'm really happy for the kid. He's been up here working (AHL callup), excited to be here and gets thrown into the game early and then to have the performance he had...we weren't great with the puck tonight. We turned the puck over a lot. Our guys worked extremely hard to defend but then we handed the puck back Winnipeg a lot. On turnovers you tend to see the best scoring chances against."

"Werns was awesome, he was making saves all over the place 5-on-5, some of those turnovers and on the power play. He just looked real solid, square to the puck. You know I guess sometimes you get thrown into the heat of the battle when you're not expecting it and you get a great performance," he said.

Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice wasn't dejected about the result on the night.

"Not at all, what’s the final number, 40-24. We got beat by four goals so we’re not brag that we dominated the game. I didn’t feel that way. Their guy made a bunch of good saves. We had a bunch of good chances that didn’t go for us. At 3-0 we made a mistake on a play that we were maybe cheating on a little bit to try and get back into the game," he said.

Both teams see action next on Thursday as Colorado visits Edmonton and Winnipeg travels to Florida.



Last modified on Wednesday, 18 December 2019 04:36
Philip Paul-Martin

A well rounded journalist with experience in both print and broadcast mediums, Philip has written news stories with impact, broken national news while at the CBC, anchored radio news and hosted talk show radio. His coverage includes feature writing, game stories and more in-depth pieces during the off-season as well as writing about the National Hockey League and the Winnipeg Jets. He calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.