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Infamous Games in Jets History

Following, in chronological order, is a listing of the top 10 infamous games in Jets history:

April 13, 1974: Jets 1 at Houston Aeros 10, Game 3, 1974 West Division Semi-Final

After two defeats at the Arena to open the 1974 playoffs against the first-place Aeros, the series shifted to Houston, where the Jets desperately needed a victory to keep their season alive. Already without Ernie Wakely due to pneumonia, the Jets then lost Joe Daley, also to pneumonia. Left to scramble for a replacement goaltender, the Jets managed to secure the services of Frank Blum from Toronto and the Toros' third-stringer arrived in Houston in time to face a 44-shot onslaught. Sadly, Blum was only able to stop 34 of those shots as the Aeros blew out the Jets by a score of 10-1. Blum, however, didn't go down without a fight as he had a third-period scrap with Andre Hinse long after the contest had been decided in the Aeros' favor. The Jets' season predictably came to an end one night later when the Aeros completed the sweep.


April 26, 1977: Jets 2 at Quebec Nordiques 8, Game 7, 1977 AVCO Cup Finals

It had been a difficult year as the Jets had been besieged by injuries and also had to contend with an unexpected trip to Moscow to take part in the Izvestia tournament after the Nordiques backed out from their earlier commitment. Nonetheless, against incredible odds, the Jets admirably battled their way through the playoffs and stood one game away from repeating as AVCO Cup champions. Unfortunately, they had nothing left in the tank and suffered an 8-2 blowout defeat at the hands of the Nordiques in front of a national television audience.


April 14, 1978: Jets 9 vs. Birmingham Bulls 3, Game 1, 1978 Playoffs

The Jets, enjoying their finest season ever, set out to recapture the AVCO Cup as they opened the playoffs against the bruising Birmingham Bulls at the Arena. Less than seven minutes into the game, the Bulls resorted to more of their embarrassing goon tactics when Dave Hanson ripped the hairpiece of Bobby Hull's head. Though Hanson was mysteriously not ejected for the deed, the Jets scored two power-play goals on Hanson's penalties to break open the contest early and cruised to a 9-3 victory. Hull was able to share in the satisfying win after returning to the game sporting a shiny red helmet. The Jets went on to take the series in five games and sweep the New England Whalers to win their second AVCO Cup.


November 6, 1979: Jets 0 at Atlanta Flames 8

Early in their inaugural NHL season, the Jets' collection of castoffs was holding their own until the wheels came off at the Omni in Atlanta, where they met the Flames for the first time as members of the NHL. With the Jets on the wrong end of a blowout, midway through the third period, Jude Drouin led the Jets off the bench in defense of Mike Amodeo, who was being pummelled by two larger Flames. What followed was an ugly brawl and Jets' coach Tom McVie had to be restrained after challenging his counterpart, Al MacNeil, to a fight. McVie was ejected along with seven players and subsequently received a three-game suspension for his role in the affair.


March 27, 1981: Jets 2 vs. Vancouver Canucks 10

The 1980-1981 season in which the Jets won only nine games had many low moments, but perhaps none worse than when they faced Vancouver in a late-season contest before a near-sellout crowd at the Arena. Making his NHL debut after being recalled from the junior ranks was goaltender Ron Loustel, who faced no less than 51 shots and was only able to stop 41 of them as the Jets threw their rookie goaltender to the wolves. What should have been the culmination of a life-long dream for the young man became a forgettable nightmare and sadly, Loustel would never get another opportunity to suit up in an NHL game.


November 11, 1981: Jets 2 at Minnesota North Stars 15

With a retooled roster that included prized rookie Dale Hawerchuk, the Jets were well on the way back to respectability from their nine-win season a year earlier as they visited the Minnesota North Stars, one of their new Norris Division rivals, for the first time this year. What followed was an epic blowout as the North Stars pummelled the Jets by a score of 15-2. Goaltender Doug Soetaert saw his goals-against average skyrocket as he went the distance and yielded all 15 goals.


April 7, 1983: Jets 3 at Edmonton Oilers 4, Game 2, 1983 Smythe Division Semi-Final

The Jets took to the ice at the Northlands Coliseum in the second game of their best-of-five series with the Oilers down a game and needing a victory to avoid a must-win situation in Game 3. The Jets played the Oilers surprisingly tough through two periods and were about to go on the power play early in the third with the game tied at 2-2. Midway through the man advantage, Edmonton rear forward Paul Coffey took off for a rush towards the Jets' goal and rang a shot squarely off the post. Curiously, the goal judge, an off-duty LAPD sergeant, signalled a goal and referee Kerry Fraser allowed the non-goal to stand, putting Edmonton up 3-2. The Jets quickly tied the score, but a late Mark Messier goal sent the Jets down to a 4-3 defeat. Two nights later, the Jets lost again at the Arena by an identical 4-3 score, bringing their season to another early conclusion.


April 23, 1985: Jets 4 vs. Edmonton Oilers 5, Game 3, 1985 Smythe Division Final

Despite losing star center Dale Hawerchuk to a vicious Jamie Macoun cross-check, the Jets were riding high after dispatching the Calgary Flames and advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since joining the NHL. In the first two games of the Smythe Division Final in Edmonton, the Jets showed little of the intensity that powered them to victory over the Flames, but a raucous sellout crowd still welcomed them back as the Jets tried with all their might to get back in the series in Game 3 at the Arena. The Jets dominated play, only to fall victim to referee Bryan Lewis, who was Edmonton's best player all night long. The 5-4 gut-wrenching defeat sealed the Jets' fate and they went down meekly in the fourth and final game to bring a premature end to what was an unexpectedly outstanding season.


April 29, 1993: Jets 3 vs. Vancouver Canucks 4, Game 6, 1993 Smythe Division Semi-Final

Having avoided elimination in dramatic fashion with an overtime goal in Game 5, the Jets took on Vancouver at the Arena hoping to pull it off one more time and send the series back to the Pacific Coliseum for a seventh and deciding game. The hotly contested affair, the most controversy-filled game in Jets history, went into overtime, where Greg Adams directed the puck into the net with the heel of his skate after being hauled down. Referee Paul Stewart allowed the goal to stand without consulting video review, bringing the Jets season to an excruciatingly painful conclusion. The Jets would never again win a playoff series as they would relocate to Phoenix following the 1995-1996 season.


April 23, 1996: Jets 1 vs. Detroit Red Wings 6, Game 4, 1996 Western Conference Quarter-Final

After a spirited effort in a 4-1 victory in Game 3, the Jets looked to even the series against the NHL's top team in Game 4 and in so doing, prolong their existence before their upcoming move to Phoenix. Unfortunately, the Jets could not duplicate their heroics and with the game getting out of hand and facing the very real prospect that this could be the last ever Jets game at the Arena, many fans began littering the ice with debris. Luckily, no one was hurt as everything from toilet paper to soft drinks to mustard bottles began raining down from the stands. It would have been a shame to have the Jets' tenure in Winnipeg end so ingloriously, but after the Jets pulled out a miraculous win in Game 5, the fans, given another chance, were much better behaved when the Jets went out for good in Game 6.