Johnny Gaudreau hat trick helps Flames close in on Jets

Johnny Gaudreau got the hat trick, but he heaped praise on netminder David Rittich.

Rittich made 35 saves as the Calgary Flames ended a three-game losing skid with a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

“I think Ritter, Dave Rittich, played out of his mind tonight,” Gaudreau said.

“He made some big saves and kept us in that game. It could have easily been 2-2, 3-3 there, going late into the third. He played unbelievable tonight and got us that win.”

WATCH | Johnny Gaudreau scores hat trick in win over Jets:

Calgary defeats Winnipeg 4-1. Jets lead Flames by 1 point in Western Conference standings. 1:49

Mark Jankowski had a shorthanded, third-period goal for Calgary (23-12-3), which was 0-2-1 heading into the game. Sean Monahan contributed three assists and Elias Lindholm added a pair.

Adam Lowry scored for the Jets, who had won their previous two games and had a four-game win streak at home halted.

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 25 shots for Winnipeg (24-11-2).

Deja vu moment

Gaudreau’s last hat trick was on Dec. 22, 2015, coincidentally in a 4-1 victory over the Jets.

His first goal was actually a redirection by Jets forward Patrik Laine, who stuck out his stick to block a Gaudreau pass attempt to Lindholm, but the puck went by Hellebuyck. His third goal was into an empty net.

Just before the empty-netter with 2:06 left in the game, Gaudreau was slashed on the arm by Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien, who got a penalty.

Gaudreau left the ice in discomfort, but told reporters he was “fine.” However, he was surprised at the timing of Byfuglien’s stick work.

“You know, it’s part of hockey. I mean, it won’t be the last time I’m slashed,” Gaudreau said. “Just kind of surprised. I had a foot or two on him, so I didn’t think I was going to get a stick to the arm, but I found the empty net and that’s the way it goes.”

The Jets are still first in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Calgary.

“You know after four days off it’s kind of a weird feeling, but I think everyone did a great job,” Rittich said.

Rittich stands tall

Jets forward Bryan Little was the victim of a couple of Rittich’s solid saves.

“We had some really good chances and [Rittich] was standing on his head in there,” Little said. “He was making some big saves at important times of the game, too. You’re going to have those nights.”

Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler said the Jets weren’t sharp.

“We’re not going to fool ourselves and pretend we played a great game and their goalie stole it,” Wheeler said. “But he played well. They capitalized on their looks and we didn’t. But we’ve got another level.”

Calgary captain Mark Giordano, who had assist on Gaudreau’s third goal, was playing in his 791st NHL game, tying him with Theo Fleury for fourth most games with the Flames in franchise history.

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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.


Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

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