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Top Five Winnipeg Jets Goals of 2011: Fan’s Take
Every goal scored by the Winnipeg Jets in 2011 was special. The beloved hockey team returned to town after a 15-year absence, whipping an NHL-starved fan base into a frenzy. The celebration will on for many years to come, as this year draws to an end, let's look back at the Jets' five best goals of 2011.
5. The Ice Breaker (October 9) — Nik Antropov tapped a rebound behind Montreal goaltender Carey Price 2:27 into the third period to become the answer to a trivia question. His goal, which made the score 2-1, was the first in the history of the reincarnated hockey franchise. And a rollicking MTS Centre crowd let him know it. Unfortunately, it was Winnipeg's only goal of the game, as the Canadiens won it, 5-1.
4. A Fine Ladd (October 27) — In no doubt the most entertaining game of 2011, the Jets outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers, 9-8, in Philadelphia. The two teams combined to light the lamp seven times in the third period alone with the lead changing hands several times throughout. Nine different Jets scored a goal in the victory with Andrew Ladd's close-range one-timer at 1:06 being the last and deciding goal.
4. Well Done, Wellwood (October 31) — The Jets and Florida Panthers skated to a 3-3 tie through regulation and overtime. It was shootout time. With the game on his stick, Kyle Wellwood made a nifty move to fake out Florida goalkeeper Jose Theodore and find the back of the net. Wellwood had a goal and two assists in regulation, but his shootout trick was a treat for Jets fans on Halloween night.
2. King Kane (December 29) — The Jets and Los Angeles Kings skated to scoreless tie in regulation, but it took Evander Kane 69 seconds to end the game in overtime. He collected a loose puck in front of the net and slipped it behind the goalie Jonathan Bernier to set off a wild celebration. Kane, who scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season, emerged as one of the game's brightest young stars at forward in 2011.
1. Little's Big Goal (December 6) — Little nearly blew the roof off the MTS Centre with his game-winning goal against the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. He beat Tuukka Rask's glove with a wrist shot at 4:50 of the third period, 94 seconds after the Bruins tied the game at 1-1, as the Jets snapped Boston's 15-game points streak (14-0-1). The crowd reaction to Little's goal was epic.
Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter and supporter of all Winnipeg sports teams. He no longer dreads Winnipeg winters now that the Jets have returned to town. Follow Adam and the Jets on Twitter: @PegCitySports.
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