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Captain Fantastic: Ladd Ties Game, Scores Winner In Shootout

By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck

Andrew Ladd scored with 1:43 left in the third period and then potted the lone goal in the shootout to help the Winnipeg Jets defeat the San Jose Sharks 5-4 Sunday night at the MTS Centre.

“The way the game played out, I thought we had a really good first period,” Ladd said on the heels of the win. “A couple mistakes and we are down 2-0 and a lot of the times it is tough to come in and be positive. But I thought we did a good job of that and a good job of sticking to our game plan.”

Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Ladd (16) scores the game-winning goal in the shootout in NHL action at the MTS Centre, Nov. 10, 2013. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Ladd (16) scores the game-winning goal in the shootout in NHL action at the MTS Centre, Nov. 10, 2013. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Ladd was quick to deflect any notion that it was just himself out there tonight.

“We needed a goal at the end, Little made a great play and I just tried to get it off as quick as I could have,” said Ladd.

Ladd didn’t want to heap praise upon himself but his teammates made no mistake in doing so after the win.

“Not much more of a leader than that,” said Grant Clitsome, who scored a goal and added two assists on the night including one on Ladd’s equalizer. “He is a quiet leader in the room and speaks when he has to but his play shows it on the ice. He has been clutch for us this year and he had a pretty huge goal for us tonight and the shootout goal was pretty huge.”

Grant Clitsome (24) scored a goal and added two assists in the Winnipeg Jets 5-4 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Grant Clitsome (24) scored a goal and added two assists in the Winnipeg Jets 5-4 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Jets’ head coach Claude Noel expanded on the importance of his captain when he met with the media after the game.

“He gives you things in other ways, he doesn’t have to score or create the offence for me,” Noel said. “When Andrew plays well it is because of the will that he brings to the game and his will through battles and through the way that he plays the game is infectious. To me, he ends up being a really tremendous leader.”

If there was one drawback for the Jets tonight it was on special teams.

The Jets extended their goalless drought on the power play and are now zero for their last 18, just one for their last 45 and only have only six markers on 68 attempts all season, good for an 8.8 percent success rate.

The Jets now rank 30th in the league on the power play.

Jets' head coach Claude Noel. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Jets’ head coach Claude Noel. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Noel preferred to side step the question after the game.

“We might be talking about that, but we will just stay with the fact that Andrew (Ladd) scored a nice goal,” said Noel with a smile.

The Jets now head to Detroit tomorrow ahead of facing the Red Wings on Tuesday night, a team they beat 4-2 last Monday.  The Jets will practice tomorrow morning at the MTS Centre before heading out.

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