JC’s big nightBy: Mitch Peacock | Published: February 8th 2016
It’s been an interesting few weeks for Jets’ prospect JC Lipon.
January 17th he got the call he’d been working towards for years, his first chance to play in the NHL.
A day later, he made his debut in the best league in the world when he suited up for the Jets against the Avalanche at MTS Centre.
Not long after that it was another chance to skate with the elite as the big club hosted the Predators.
But with players returning to full health, JC was returned to the Moose and joined up with the team in California for the final three games of the team’s eight game roadie.
Four games into his return from his first taste of life at the top, Lipon was without a point and the team was struggling as its winless skid reached nine games.
My how things can change in a hurry.
Saturday, the Moose beat the AHL-leading Toronto Marlies 6-5 (OT) and JC Lipon had five points; including an assist on Nic Petan’s overtime decider.
After setting the table on the first three Moose goals, Lipon scored to put Manitoba ahead 5-4 in the third period and then lent a hand when the Moose sent the full-house home happy with the overtime winner.
Monday after practice JC said it’s his first five point game…ever.
When pressed he said maybe, just maybe, he’d had a five point game in his first year playing hockey but definitely never since then.
“Maybe initiation,” said the Regina-product. “But like I wasn’t the best player growing up then either so – I don’t know. It was, it was cool.”
Okay, let’s be honest five point game’s are rare (and special), but you would be excused for thinking a guy who had 189 points in the Western Hockey League would have grabbed a handful of points one night along the way.
Not in Junior, or midget, or bantam…you get the idea.
Which only makes Saturday’s outburst all the more memorable, and is sure to help JC move past the mini scoring drought he experienced after being returned from the NHL.
As it turns out Lipon is on-course for his most productive AHL season. Two years ago he had 42 points in 72 games (.583 pts/game), now he’s got 22 points in 35 games (.623 pts/game).
But all of that isn’t what the gritty-winger is focused on, he’s more concerned about the team.
Lipon said Saturday’s victory over Toronto has a lot of value; “It’s huge when you beat a team like that. It also kinda sets a standard for yourself cause, you know, you might be struggling but when you can beat a team like that it’s, it’s good for your team’s confidence.”
JC and the Manitoba Moose host the Texas Stars Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 9 and 10.
Tickets are available at moosehockey.com/tickets
Both games can be heard on moosehockey.com starting with the pre-game show at 6:45pm.
Wednesday’s game can also be found on TSN 1290.