On Wednesday night the Winnipeg Jets beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 in game one of the Northern Division Quarterfinals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Four former American college hockey players scored goals to lead the Jets to a 4-1 victory over the heavily favored Oilers.
On paper this series looks like a cake walk for the Oilers. Entering Wednesday’s game, the Jets had lost six straight games to the Oilers by a combined score of 21-7. On Wednesday, none of that mattered.
At the 11:01 mark of the first period, former University of North Dakota defenseman Tucker Poolman scored the game-tying goal off of a rebound. Entering Wednesday’s game, Poolman had one point, an assist in 39 games. It was also Poolman’s first goal since March 9, 2020. The second period would end tied 1-1.
At the 9:14 mark of the third period, former Minnesota-Duluth Bulldog forward Dominic Toninato would break the tie scoring the game-winning goal off of a deflection in front of the Oilers net.
The Jets weren’t done yet. They’d add two more markers to their one-goal lead.
With just under two minutes left in the game, the Oilers pulled goalie Mike Smith for an extra attacker. The Jets would deposit two more goals in the Oilers net to give them a 4-1 lead. The Oilers wouldn’t get any closer and the Jets would secure the first win in their best of seven series. Scoring the final two goals from the Jets, former Michigan Wolverine All-American forward Kyle Connor and former Minnesota Gopher forward Blake Wheeler.
For the fans of the college hockey game, this game was one for the ages, it showcased the former college hockey players on national television as the former American college hockey players led the way for the Jets. What’s even more impressive, the Jets kept Connor McDavid zero points, minus-2, and Leon Draisaitl zero points, and minus-2 off of the scoreboard
Securing the win for the Jet, the birthday boy goalie Connor Hellebuyck. The former UMass Lowell River Hawks was solid in net stopping 32-of-33 shots.
College Hockey Line
Dominic Toninato, UMD, game-winning goal
Tucker Poolman, UND, game-tying goal
Kyle Connor, Mich, goal and assist
Blake Wheeler, UMN, goal and assist
Neal Pionk, UMD, assist
Connor Hellebuyck, UMASS Lowell, 32 saves and win