Former Gophers, Breck star Wheeler has big night for Jets
- Associated Press
- December 28, 2013 - 8:38 AM
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Blake Wheeler's confidence is growing for the Winnipeg Jets.
Wheeler scored two goals and the Jets beat the Minnesota Wild 6-4 on Friday in a game that featured a seven-goal first period.
Wheeler ended a scramble in front of the Minnesota net when he poked the puck under Niklas Backstrom with 9:20 remaining in the third period for his 14th goal of the season, giving the Jets a 5-4 lead.
It was the ninth goal in December for Wheeler, a Minnesota native and a former University of Minnesota star.
Wheeler started the season with just five goals in his first 28 games.
"I think confidence plays into it," he said of his recent success. "When the puck starts going in the net you find yourself getting into the scoring areas a little bit more. The puck seems to bounce your way a little bit more."
Evander Kane, Olli Jokinen, Dustin Byfuglien and Toby Enstrom added goals for Winnipeg.
Dany Heatley, Justin Fontaine, Stephane Veilleux and Mikko Koivu scored for Minnesota.
The Jets, who were coming off a loss in Edmonton on Monday, managed to beat the Wild after losing each of the first three meetings between the teams.
It was a fourth straight loss for the Wild, who have dropped six of their past eight games.
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