REGINA — Bryan Little scored the overtime winner for the Winnipeg Jets in a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames in Saturday’s Heritage Classic outdoor game.
Little scored off a 2-on-1 with Kyle Connor at 3:04 of extra time, tucking the puck under Flames goaltender David Rittich at the corner of the net.
The NHL’s 28th outdoor game since 2003 was a prairie-province showdown at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium, which was Canada’s first non-NHL ‘neutral’ site for an outdoor game.
Josh Morrissey also scored for Winnipeg (6-6-0). Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves for the win.
Elias Lindholm scored for Calgary (6-6-1). Rittich stopped 43 shots in his first start in an outdoor game.
The 33,350-seat Mosaic Stadium built in 2017 to be the new home of the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders was sold out and liberally sprinkled with Flames red, Jets blue and Roughrider green.
A high of 17 degrees the previous day gave way to cloud and winds making for a sub-zero Saturday in Regina.
Wind gusts between 28 and 43 kilometres per hour put windchill at minus-10 by puck drop at 8 p.m. local time.
Snowflakes began dusting Mosaic a few hours prior to the game and intensified after the opening faceoff.
As snow accumulated between scrapes, puck handling, shooting and passing became laborious.
The game was low scoring, but high shooting as each club put 26 shots on net in the first 40 minutes.
With Flames centre Sean Monahan serving a tripping penalty, the Jets couldn’t score on a 4-on-3 in extra time.
Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler put the puck off the crossbar with seconds remaining in the penalty.
Morrissey pulled the Jets even at 15:49 of the third period with a power-play goal.
With Flames captain Mark Giordano serving a hooking penalty, Patrick Laine fed the Jets defender from behind the net. Morrissey threaded a shot through traffic to the top corner over Rittich’s glove.
His was Winnipeg’s first goal in an outdoor game. The Jets were shut out 3-0 at Winnipeg’s IG Field by the Edmonton Oilers in 2016.
After a scoreless first period, Lindholm’s power-play goal at 14:47 of the second was his team-leading seventh goal of the season.
Johnny Gaudreau, on Hellebuyck’s right, tapped the puck over to Lindholm to shovel it past Winnipeg’s netminder.
Jets head coach Paul Maurice challenged the goal believing Matthew Tkachuk raised his stick above his shoulders to knock down the puck and and keep it in the offensive zone.
Maurice was denied, which resulted in a Jets minor penalty for the failed challenge.
Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry crosschecked Flames defenceman Oliver Kylington into the boards to end the period, which put the Flames on the power play to start the third.
Winnipeg scored once on five power-play chances, while the Flames went 0-for-3.
The outdoor game was Calgary’s first of five road games over eight days. The Jets face the Ducks in Anaheim on Tuesday.
Jets centre Mason Appleton was a scratch Saturday having broken a bone in his foot throwing the football with his teammates at Mosaic prior to Friday’s skate . . . Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic played his 600th NHL game Saturday.
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press
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