Little’s hat trick powers Jets past Avs

Winnipeg, MB ( – Bryan Little’s hat trick powered the
Winnipeg Jets to a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.

Little’s hat trick was the first for the Jets since the franchise relocated
from Atlanta to Winnipeg. Eric Boulton scored the last hat trick in franchise
history for the Thrashers on Dec. 18, 2010.

Andrew Ladd tallied a goal and an assist, Chris Thorburn and Dustin Byfuglien
also scored and Blake Wheeler supplied three helpers for the Jets, who are
4-0-1 over their last five games.

Michael Hutchinson turned aside 20 shots in the win.

Jarome Iginla scored twice and Gabriel Landeskog assisted on both markers for
the Avalanche, who lost for the third straight contest.

Semyon Varlamov gave up five goals on 30 shots, while Reto Berra conceded a
goal on seven shots in defeat.

The Jets broke a 1-1 tie with four unanswered goals.

Varlamov appeared to make an incredible save off Little’s shot from the right
side of the net, but video review showed that the netminder’s glove was behind
the goal line and Winnipeg regained its lead at 12:29 of the second.

Winnipeg increased its lead to 3-1 with 45 seconds left in the second after
Ladd deflected Ben Chiarot’s shot past Varlamov.

Little put the game out of reach with two goals early in the third. Little
wristed home a shot 45 seconds into the stanza and then completed the hat
trick by tapping the puck over a sprawled Varlamov 32 seconds later.

After a scrum yielded a 5-on-3 power play for the Avalanche, Colorado head
coach Patrick Roy pulled Berra for an extra attacker. The Jets defense was
resolute, however, as the three-man advantage was unsuccessful.

Zach Redmond weaved around a defender and sent a cross-ice pass to Iginla, who
tapped the puck into an open net with 9:36 left to play, but Byfuglien’s right
point blast bounced off the ice and skipped over Berra shoulder to cap the
scoring three minutes later.

Winnipeg opened the scoring 4:31 into the game. Paul Postma’s point shot was
stopped by Varlamov, but the Colorado netminder was unable to corral the
rebound as Thorburn buried it into the back of the net. Iginla tied the game
with his fifth goal of the season as the veteran netted a wrister past a
screened Hutchinson at 9:19.

Game Notes

Little registered his second career hat trick … Iginla moved into sole
possession of 21st on the NHL’s all-time goals list with 565, surpassing Mats
Sundin and Joe Nieuwendyk … Chiarot tallied his first NHL point on Ladd’s
goal … Colorado is 0-3-1 in the second half of back-to-back games … The
Jets have scored first in eight straight games.