The Jokers entered Tuesday night’s game versus the YellowJackets in desperate need of win to avoid an 0-3 start to the Spring season. Unfortunately once again the team quickly got down 2-0 after the first period and captain Jim Brunetti was not pleased. “We need more shots, guys” he was overheard imploring his team on the bench. Finally in the second period Phil Mrazik was able to pick up a pass across the goal mouth off the boards and turn and fire a quick wrist shot past the YJ goalie making 2-1. The momentum would not last as the Jackets scored again to make it 3-1 heading into the final period. Josh Berrelli scored his 3rd goal of the season once again cutting the lead to 1 goal at 3-2 and once again the momentum was quickly lost after a sniper like slapshot went over the shoulder of goalie Fernando Gomez and re-establish the 2 goal lead at 4-2. Midway though the 3rd period Ken Herren came of the bench on a line change and intercepted a wayward clearing pass, streaked down the right side and fired a shot stick side high to beat the goalie. For the 3rd time the deficit to was 1, but alas the Jokers could not punch through the tying goal as the Jackets withstood fierce pressure in the final minutes.
Notes: Tim Fisher and Justin Cossette missed the game for undisclosed reasons… Chris Dickinson made his season debut… Mrazik played his last game of the season and he has been recalled to Thailand… 17 day layoff until next game on April 15… no word on makeup date for 3/14 game.
The Jokers of Doom were hoping to rebound against the Vikings after a disappointing Spring season opener loss, however things got off to a rocky start after a quick tap in goal on a pass across the goal mouth only 34 seconds into the game. At the 4:20 mark the Vikings struck again on a loose ball in front of the net and after a few pokes the goal was scored and it was 2-0. This time the Jokers would not wait until the 3rd period to find some offense as Josh Berrelli took a quick pass from Ken Herren and found himself alone in the middle and beat the opposing goalie (former Joker backup Matt Chapman) with a nifty backhand to make it 2-1 after the first period. Even after this momentum building goal the Jokers gave it back only 9 seconds into the 2nd period as Steve Veillux picked up a Jokers giveaway and blasted a slap shot stick side low past Tim Fisher. The Vikings would add another goal in the second and again in early the 3rd to make it 5-1. Justin Cossette would score at the 6:12 mark to make it 5-2 but the deficit was too much to overcome in the final four minutes. After the game, assistant captain Rich Orsini said, “We just couldn’t connect on our passes and had a lot of trouble getting it of our zone”. It definitely seemed the steadying presence of veteran blue-liner Devon Sylvester was missed, and also forced C/W Dave Dreschler to play defense.
Notes: Jokers captain Jim Brunetti, John Deluca, and Sylvester all missed the game for undisclosed reasons… Fisher made his season debut and stopped 23 of 28 shots… Cossette also made season debut… no official word on a makeup date for the game vs Charleston Chiefs… Jokers will again look the crack the win column on March 28 at 8:00pm vs the Yellow Jackets.
The Jokers of Doom came into the first game of the Spring 2017 on Sunday night against the Tomahawks hoping to see an uptick in the offense with return of Phil Mrazik and the move of Dave Dreschler back to the offense. Unfortunately after 2 periods the offense remained stagnant and the team was behind 2-0 after a tap in goal in the first and another second period goal. Captain Jim Brunetti searched for answers and considered juggling the lines but in the end kept the personnel as they were. Finally in the 3rd period Ken Herren was able to break down the middle and redirect a Frank Melillo pass on net and eventually poke it home after a few stellar efforts by Tomahawks goalie Matt DiMascio and make it a 2-1 game. The celebration of a goal had only just ended when less than a minute later the Tomahawks scored on a blue line slap shot that screened Jokers goalie Fernando Gomez. “I screened him”, Dreschler could be heard saying on the bench after the goal. Later in the third period the Jokers were able to make it 3-2 on a curling wrist shot by Josh Berrelli with assists from John Deluca and Mrazik. Once again the Tomahawks responded as Jesse Tanguay picked up a loose ball and blasted a shot which was stopped by Gomez but he was able to drive the rebound off of the pads and dribble in the 4th and decisive goal. The Jokers 2nd game on Tuesday evening was postponed due to blizzard Eugene, they will look to get in the win column on Saturday night vs the Vikings.
Notes: Rumors of a Kevin LaPrade return were stifled as he signed on with the Shuperheroes in D division… Phil Mrazik returns to the Jokers full time and played mostly defense in game 1… Justin Cossette, Chris Dickinson, Gomez, and Chris McMullen move to part time roles… Tim Fisher, who would have started the now postponed game 2, will be back in net for game 4 versus the Yellow Jackets and should start most games for the remainder of the season.