June 19, 2020 / 12:07 AM / 13 days ago

Former Jets D Morrow wins NHL Gaming Challenge finale

Former Winnipeg Jets defenseman Joe Morrow pulled out a 2-1 series win over Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins on Thursday as the NHL Player Gaming Challenge concluded.

Merzlikins’ Blue Jackets won the opener of the best-of-three match 6-3 before Morrow’s Jets claimed the second game 5-4.

In the finale, played in a three-on-three format, Morrow jumped on top 4-0 before Merzlikins tied it 4-4. Morrow eventually produced a 10-6 victory.

“This is great,” Morrow said. “Thanks for helping out with the quarantine.”

The online video-game event featured representation from almost every NHL team. In addition, Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson played on behalf of the pending NHL Seattle expansion team.

No standings were compiled of the matches played on EA SPORTS’ NHL 20 game, as the action was designed strictly for entertainment with the NHL season shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In connection with the event, the National Hockey League Foundation and Electronic Arts donated $100,000 to the CDC Foundation’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

In the first game Thursday, Morrow led 2-0 midway through the second period before Merlikins rallied and pulled away.

Talking about how he gained experience on NHL 20, Merzlikins said, “Playing together with your friend is so much fun. ... I played together with my best friend. He broke up with his girlfriend, and I told him to come live with me, and we were playing every night, so many hours. We were playing all the time together. ... We got really good.”

Morrow was up by two goals late in the second game. Merzlikins got a goal with 30.9 seconds left, but Morrow held on.

—Field Level Media

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