Jets put up a good fight

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

PENTICTON, B.C. - This was a night where we were wondering if anybody on the Winnipeg Jets was going to be good enough to share the marquee with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

The answer was a resounding no.

Capital N. Capital O.

As the Jets were looking to build on a 4-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks, they came up mostly empty-handed in a 2-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

With the defeat, the Jets fell to 1-1 at the 2011 Young Stars tournament.

After seeing Mark Scheifele put forth an impressive performance for the Jets on Monday in scoring a goal and an assist, it was another first round pick who stole the spotlight on Tuesday.

Not surprisingly, Nugent-Hopkins ó the first overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft ó was the guy who stepped to the forefront with a special delivery.

The scoresheet will only show that he recorded one assist, but make no mistake, Nugent-Hopkins was a force.

The gifted centre made several subtle moves, completed some deft passes and found a way to get his shot off several times.

Wouldnít you know it, he also delivered a few solid hits.

Much like Jets fans are wondering what Scheifele is going to do in Jets main camp, Oiler fans are curious how long Nugent-Hopkins will be sticking around and whether he might be ready to break into the NHL as an 18-year-old.

Thatís a debate for down the road, but Nugent-Hopkins was certainly impressive.

As for the game itself, coach Keith McCambridge spoke of the importance of trying to demonstrate some consistency while playing on consecutive nights.

But there werenít a whole lot of virtuoso performances for the Jets, who gave up a pair of goals before the opening period was nine minutes old (Chase Schaber scored on a goal-mouth scramble and defenceman Ryan Lowery snuck in a seeing-eye shot from the point through some traffic for a power-play marker).

Schaber also drew some attention for a big hit on Scheifele in the first period.

Scheifele was shaken up on the play, but didnít miss a shift and showed no ill effects in the game.

The one positive for the Jets is that they didnít quit, battling hard to the end.

There were also some spirited scraps, one featuring mammoth Jets blue-liner Cody Sol and another with Winnipegger Jordan DePape.

The sluggish start notwithstanding, the Jets actually found their legs midway through the first period and had several glorious chances to cut into the deficit, but Tyler Bunz stood tall in the Oilers net.

So, after blanking their opponent one night earlier, the Jets had the tables turned on them. These are the types of things that happen to youngsters who are finding their way and getting to know one other.

However, the reality for many of them is that theyíll only have one more chance to impress the Jets brass and possibly earn a trip to main training camp.

That chance will come Thursday when the Jets play their last game of this tournament against the host Vancouver Canucks.


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