BLAINE, Minn. – Matt Schaumburger was assessed a minor penalty with 3:03 to play in the third period and the Metro Jets trailing the New Ulm Steel 4-2.
No problem. Kill the penalty and pull the goalie for a chance.
The Jets’ penalty killing unit went to work – and subsequently scored two goals in 32 seconds to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Connor Inger then completed the comeback just 12 seconds into the extra session and the Jets took a 5-4 win to wrap up the NA3HL Showcase Tuesday at the Schwan Super Rink with a perfect 3-0 record.
“It’s hard to explain in words how intense the game was down the stretch,” said Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville. “We were frustrated throughout the game with the disallowed goal in the second and missed opportunities throughout, but to think that we would score two shorthanded goals in the last two minutes to push it to overtime was a great character comeback.”
“It was an unreal comeback for us,” added Inger. “Doing that shorthanded says a lot about us as a team and I think that is a sign of where this team is headed.”
Jhuwon Davis scored the first shorthanded goal at 18:08 and Inger followed at 18:40.
“Obviously, our goal was to win all three games,” Inger said. “We talked about that before the third period, that we didn’t come here for four points – we wanted all six. I think we showed the scouts in attendance the perseverance of the players on this team, which will help sell us.”
Davis posted two goals in the game, while Robby Flannery contributed a goal and two assists.
Jets goalie Andrew Kormos made 24 saves, while New Ulm goalie Ryan Kenny finished with 34 stops.
Inger (pictured) said his two dramatic goals were the work of his teammates.
“On the tying goal, I was floating in the neutral zone trying to get a chance and when I got the puck, (Griffin) Sawyer drove the net and took the defenseman’s stick – made it easy for me to cut to the middle and take a shot,” said Inger. “The overtime one, the puck bounced out to me after (George) Hansen applied pressure and I just wanted to give it a chance – something Q talks about a lot – and luckily enough, it went in.”
The Jets led 2-1 after one period and trailed 4-2 after 40 minutes.
Sam Storlie, Alex Nagel, Trevor Woytcke and Tom Reilly scored the Steel’s goals.
“I felt like we outplayed, outchanced and controlled most of the game, but their two power-play goals were tough to recover from,” said Quenneville. “We had some big kills in the third and a few good chances, but it was definitely one of the biggest last-minute wins I have been a part of. Between Davis and Inger’s two big goals, to Connor finishing it in OT, it was one for the ages. Proud of the guys for sweeping the tough competition in the Showcase.”
Metro now breaks for the holidays before next hitting the ice Jan. 5 in Toledo for a 7 p.m. game versus the Cherokee.