Jokers Get Miracle OT Win In Season Opener, 6-5

The Jokers of Doom season opener was a wild, roller coaster game against the Vipers. The first period ended with a 3-0 deficit with the Jokers playing poor defensively and getting outshot 10-7. There were numerous open players and shots and a 2-0 deficit turned to 3-0 with only 4.4 seconds left in the period on a rebound put back goal by Stan Capp. In the second period things would start to change starting with a blast from Kevin LaPrade just 1:01 into the period assisted by Kristi Rochette. Around 2 minutes later captain Jim Brunetti would cash in a quick wrist shot off of a high slot feed from Ken Herren to make it 3-2 and a large momentum shift towards the Jokers. The final goal of the period would come from Rochette as she squeezed a quick slap shot through the pads of goalie Fernando Gomez to tie the game at 3-3. The final period would see the Vipers score 2 goals and take a 5-3 lead with only 3:43 seconds left in the game. Again, the Jokers would show tremendous resolve with 3 straight unassisted goals starting with Rob Kurdy with only 22 seconds left and Greg Benoit pulled for the extra attacker. Then, only 4 seconds later after a faceoff win, Phil Elliott would send a bending wrist shot that deflected off the Vipers goalie into the net for a tie game. In the OT, Elliott would finish it off as he took a loose ball, flew across the slot and then wristed home the game winner to complete the improbable come back and a 6-5 win. Captain Jim Brunetti would say after the game, “This is a typical Jokers game, get down, come back, down again, and pull out a win. Amazing”.

Notes: Jokers were outshot in the game 31-26… Frank Melillo, and Jeremy Battye were scratches…

The team announced the signing of forward Frank Conaci, effective immediately

Jokers Advance to Finals with Controversial 2-1 Win

The Jokers of Doom advanced to the D-division Finals with a win over the Hurricanes on disputed third period goal by Phil Elliott. The teams battled each other hard for two periods resulting in a 1-1 deadlock with both goals coming in the first period. The Jokers would squander an early 2-1/2 minute power play after a major-roughing penalty to Hurricane Frank Guest. Fortunately Jeremy Battye would induce a holding penalty just three minutes later and he would cash it in with a lightning fast wrist shot past the Hurricanes net-minder at the 4:01 mark.

The Hurricanes would tie it up on a partial breakaway less than two minutes later. The Jokers would come up empty on two second period power plays as well setting up the third period drama. In the final frame, the teams were pressing hard to snap the tie when Phil Elliot knocked a Battye rebound toward the net. The ball seemingly hit something and bounce to the corner but no one was sure what it hit, however the referee stationed on the goal line would point to the net – signaling a goal and touching off intense protesting from the Hurricanes squad. Although the referee calling the goal easily had the best position to determine the goal, a discussion ensued. In the end, the goal was upheld and the Jokers hung on for the final 3:31 to come out on top.

Notes: Battye tallied a goal and assist… Greg Benoit stopped 23 of 24 shots for a 3rd straight win and 1st Jokers playoff win… Frank Melillo, John Condit, and Steve Looze were scratched… Jokers will face Hockey Balboa in the finals starting tomorrow at 1:00pm.

Jokers Win 3rd Straight After 0-2-1 Skid

The Jokers of Doom hockey club has streaked to 3-0 over the last 3 games after an 0-2-1 skid saw them being on the outside in of the playoff picture. After the 2-0 shutout win on March 14, the Jokers lost the opener of a home and home to the Springfield Chiefs with a shorthanded club 5-0. In the second matchup a week later the Jokers played much better and had a 3-1 lead only to let it get away and settle for a 3-3 tie.

The next matchup against Hockey Balboa was a back and forth high scoring affair. The Jokers went down 2-0 quickly in the first period before goals by Phil Elliott and Jeremy Battye tied things up heading to the second. The second period would see one goal by the Jokers Steve Looze and they would take a 3-2 lead into the 3rd period. In the final period the Balboan’s would score 3 straight goals to take a 5-3 lead. Rob Kurdy would grab a goal with 2:51 remaining to pull within one but Balboa would snag an empty net goal with :12 remaining to ice the victory.

After the 0-2-1 skid the Jokers seemed to sense the urgency and started playing hard for captain Jim Brunetti. On April 14 vs the Hurricanes a very shorthanded Jokers team got a first period goal from Rob Kurdy as he tapped in the ball at the side of the net after a scramble and they somehow made it stand up. Greg Benoit would stop all 29 shots for his second shutout of the season.

The next game was April 22 vs the Tomahawks and the Jokers would take this contest 5-1, Kevin Laprade, Elliott, and Ken Herren would find the back of the net along with 2 goals from leading scorer Battye (who also had 2 assists) to put this one away along with 25 saves from Benoit between the pipes.

Finally, the Jokers would face the Vipers on April 27 in a key contest for both squads, the Jokers coming in at 4-3-1 and the Vipers at 4-3-0. This one would be the Looze and Benoit show as he would score all 4 goals and Benoit stop 40 shots in a 4-0 victory. It may look like an easy win however the game was scoreless all the way into the 3rd period when Herren would snag a loose ball behind the net and feed Looze in front who snapped home the goal and a 1-0 lead at 7:55. A little over a minute later Herren would find Looze again off the side boards and a slap shot over the goalie’s glove to make it 2-0. Looze would go on to add an unassisted goal and finally an empty netter to close it out. Benoit was outstanding in net stopping all 40 shots.

Notes: After the 3 wins the Jokers sit in good position at 5-3-1 and 11 points, tied for second in the division… their final game is against division leader Pure Chaos, who defeated the Jokers 3-2 earlier in the season… Jokers scoring leaders: Battye (6g, 4a), Herren (3g, 5a), Looze (6g, 0a)… Jokers PIM leaders: Duncan (4.50), LaPrade (3.00), Benoit/Orsini, (2.00)… Goalie Greg Benoit has played all 9 games with 3 shutouts and a 2.33 GAA.

Jokers back in W Column with 2-0 Shutout Win

The Jokers of Doom got a boost from its newest member Steve Looze in a 2-0 shutout win over Pure Chaos. Looze scored the first goal just 27 seconds into the second period after a scoreless first. After a blast from the circle by Ken Herren was stopped by the goalie, Kevin LaPrade picked up the rebound and slid a pass over to Looze between the circles who ripped home a quick wrist shot.

After two periods the Jokers were holding tightly to the 2-1 lead and held the shot advantage 15-11. In the third Rob Kurdy would deflect home an insurance goal off of a flicked pass toward the front of the net, assists went to Jeremy Battye and Looze. Goalie Greg Benoit would turn away all 6 Chaos shots in the 3rd with 17 saves in total to grab his first shutout as a Joker.

Notes: Defenseman Mike Bradigo also made his season debut for the jokers… Captain Jim Brunetti remained sidelined with a foot injury, he is probable for the next game… John Condit and Frank Melillo missed the contest for unspecified reasons.

Jokers Fall, 3-2

The Jokers of Doom failed to keep the momentum going after their season opening 4-2 win, coming up short versus the Vipers 3-2 behind a hat trick from John Venditti.

Venditti opened the scoring with a wicked slap-shot after he was left open from the top of the right circle. The Jokers would tie the game on the power play with a long slap-shot from Ken Herren that found it’s way past ex-Jokers goalie Matt Chapman. Unfortunately Venditti nabbed his second goal as he weaved around a couple of defenders to slide home a partial breakaway goal before the first period would end for a 2-1 lead heading to the second.

In the second Venditti would get his 3rd and eventual decisive goal on a power play blast from the point. There would be no further scoring in the second period as both teams pushed with double digit shots on goal but no goals.

The final period would continue with many shots but no goals until Phil Elliott broke through with a long wrist shot that found it’s way to the back of the net. As time wound down the Jokers were unable to pull their goalie for the extra attacker until there were only a few ticks left and were unable to generate pressure or a goal in the late stages.

Notes: The Jokers will next face Ray Glowicki and the 1-0 Pure Chaos on Thursday evening… Frank Melillo and leading score Jeremy Battye were not in the lineup… Greg Benoit played well stopping 28 of 31 shots but falls to 1-1 along with the Jokers… Defenseman Aaron Duncan takes the early PIM lead with 2 penalties in the game.

Jokers Open Spring Season With 4-2 Win Behind Battye’s Hat Trick

The Jokers of Doom opened the spring season with a 4-2 win highlighted by Jeremy Battye’s hat trick. Battye opened the scoring with a goal at 2:25 assisted by Phil Elliott. Then with only 3 seconds left in the first period Kevin LaPrade banged home another goal, assisted by John Condit.

In the second the Tomahawks would net a tip in goal just 34 seconds into the period. However with 1:46 left Battye would pick off a pass and score on a breakaway pushing the lead back to two goals at 3-1.

Finally in the 3rd the Tomahawks again would push closer with a goal at the 2:57 mark after the Jokers were unable to clear the zone. With time winding down the Tomahawks pulled their goalie looking for a tie but Battye would come up with the ball at mid court and fire a wrist shot into the empty net for his 3rd goal and secure the 4-2 win.

The Jokers won’t have much time to enjoy the win – game two of the season is scheduled for Thursday at 7:00pm.

Notes:
The first period was marred by what could be a major injury to captain Jim Brunetti who hurt his left foot/heel. He was scheduled for an evaluation after the game. Winger Kristie Rochette, and defensemen Jim Salkins and Aaron Duncan were unavailable for game one. New Jokers goalie Greg Benoit stopped 31 of 33 shots for the win.

Jokers Drop Tough Fall Season Opener, 6-5

Jokers of Doom are back for the fall season and came up short in the opener by a score of 6-5. The roster needed an overhaul after the team was unable to secure the return of the Salkins family, John Condit, or speedster Josh Berrelli. Also not returning due to injuries are Kevin LaPrade and defensemen Paul Bellantuono. The team was able to secure the return of Graig Romberg, Phil Elliott, John Deluca, and Jeremy Battye as well as Alix Langlais coming back from an injury. Andy Pettola will also return in the nets but was absent for the opener with backup duties falling to John Deluca.

The Jokers opened against Hockey Balboa and while they were able to strike first in the opening minutes on a goal from ex-Joker Dave Dreschler, the Jokers would fight back with goals by Romberg (power play) and Battye to end the first with a 2-1 lead.

In the second although the shots were even at 11 per team, Balboa would gain the edge scoring 2 goals and taking a 3-2 lead into a frenzied final period of play.

The third period again had 11 shots per team but 6 goals were scored between the two teams. The Jokers would nab the first 2 scores with Battye and Romberg each scoring their second goals of the game, including a wicked snap backhander into the top of the net by Romberg. The momentum would be short lived however as Balboa would click off 3 straight goals over only 1-1/2 minutes starting with a disputed goal. Dreschler’s second goal of the game ricocheted off his upper body and squirted past Deluca. The Jokers argued for a forward motion deflection and the goal should be nullified. The referees conferred and decided the goal was good. Balboa would add two more goals and although Romberg did get the hart trick with his 3rd goal, the Jokers team couldn’t recover and get the tying goal with the extra attacker in the final minute. The Jokers will next tangle with 0-1 Tomahawks on Sunday September 16.

Jokers Goal Scoring Woes Result in Two Losses

The Jokers of Doom continue to struggle mightily to find the back of the net, resulting in the team dropping it’s last two games 3-2 and 3-1 to the Tomahawks and Hockey Balboa after opening the season with a 3-2 OT win.

In the Tomahawks game, as per the norm the Jokers fell behind early and were down 2-0 after the first period. They battled back to score the next 2 goals, Ken Herren with the lone goal scored in the second period on a power play and then just 1:43 into the third Frank Melillo tied it up. In the end the Tomahawks would break the tie mid way through the third period as Steve Lubinsky scooped a loose ball between the circles and his quick wrist shot found the 5 hole on goalie Josh Berrelli who was filling in for Matt Dutily and stopped 26 of 29 shots.

In the game versus Hockey Balboa, Dutily was back in net and the Jokers were hoping to find paydirt more often but it just wasn’t to be. Once again, they found themselves down early as Balboa would score on a long shot in the first period which ended with Jokers sown by a goal. Although holding the offensive zone longer than Balboa the second period yielded no goals and another goal against for a 2-0 deficit heading the the third period. In the final frame, the Jokers would finally cash in as Tyler Salkins would tap in a rebound off a shot from Herren. The same theme would hold though as the Balboan’s cashed in another goal midway through the third and hung on for the 3-1 victory. Goalie Matt Dutily stopped 29 of 32 shots. No doubt captain Jim Brunetti will be devising new strategies to deploy in the next contest on Sunday night versus the 3-0 division leading Vipers.

 

Notes: Jokers were 1-6 on the power play in the Tomahawks game… 37 shots for versus Tomahawks is the highest total in several seasons… 0 power plays and only 2 matching penalties in second game versus Hockey Balboa… Jim Salkins was a scratch in game 1 and Garrett Salkins was a scratch in game 2… Forward Jeff Herget was signed as a per game player and debuted vs Balboa… Despite the losses Jokers won the shots on goal in both games 37-29 and 33-32 which they hadn’t done all of last season.

Happy Spring! Jokers Win Opener in OT, 3-2

The Jokers of Doom finally got the spring season underway  versus Chaos after game 1 of the new season was replaced with game 3 of the finals due to weather. As per the norm, the Jokers hate having leads early in games, so they gave up a goal after a Jokers turnover in their offensive zone and a quick pass and slap-shot goal by Lou Coleman. The period would end with no penalties and the Jokers out shot 11-6.

In the second just 1:27 into the period Ken Herren would intercept a pass attempt between the circles and fire home a goal stick side low to make it 1-1. A couple of minutes later Garrett Salkins would scoop up a loose ball, move into the offensive zone a zip a wrist shot home from the top of the circle. This period would end with 1 penalty for Chaos and the Jokers up in shots, 9-7.

The 3rd period would feature some back and forth action from both teams but the better chances coming from Chaos as Jokers backstop Matt Dutily continued to impress with many key saves. However with only 29 seconds left in the period a confusing off sides call and touch up would cause the ball to be unattended at mid-dek where a Chaos player took a long slap-shot that found it’s way past Dutily and tie the game at 2-2. The 3rd period would end with 1 Jokers penalty and a 10-7 shot disadvantage.

In the overtime with just 1 minute left Josh Berrelli would take what appeared to be a harmless wrist shot from the blue line but somehow it found it’s way through the goaltender and give the Jokers an improbably 3-2 win to open the spring season.

Notes: Jokers were outshot overall 32-24… now 8-1 in last 9 games dating back to last season… Tyler Salkins made his season debut joining dad Jim and brother Garrett on the team… Tomahawks (1-1) will be the opponent for game 2 on April 3.

CHAMPS!

The Jokers of Doom captured their ninth dekhockey title in their 20-year history last night in a thrilling 2-1 double overtime game-three victory! This game would be a classic as the Jokers would once again fall behind early-as has been their M.O. for the entire playoffs and most of the season. The Hurricanes snuck a goal at the 3:57 mark of the second period and, minimal quality scoring chances were being generated from both sides due to solid defensive play. As the game moved to third period and the time kept winding down it was just about to get to the desperation point when Jim Brunetti fired what appeared to be a routine shot at the net but somehow it had eyes and found it’s way just across the goal line to tie the game. Josh Berrelli dished to Brunettti after Rich Orsini won the battle to keep the zone – each earning an assist on the game-tying goal. Both netminders played very well as the game moved to the first OT, Jokers goalie Matt Dutily had stopped 22 of 23 shots and the Hurricanes goalie 18 of 19. The first OT again saw a minimal amount of scoring opportunities and the shots on goal were even at four per side, the best chance being a Ken Herren wicked slap shot on a 2 on 1 break that missed the net wide to the right.

The game would move to the second OT with both teams trying not to make any costly mistakes and find paydirt. That moment would come at 8:15 of the 5th period after a questionable tripping penalty went against the Hurricanes. Garrett Salkins picked up a loose ball in the offensive zone on the ensuing power play and fired home an unassisted tally on a low wrist shot from the top of the circle to secure the victory. Center Frank Melillo was planted in front of the net and may have deflected the game-winner, but replays were inconclusive. Regardless -the goal triggered the Jokers team to stream off the bench to celebrate the championship-winning goal. Captain Brunetti would say, “We needed this one, it’s been a long time since our last title. I can’t say enough about the solid defense in front of Matt… Jim Salkins, John Condit, Rich Orsini, and Paul Bellantuono were just stellar these last two games.”

Notes: Dutily would named series MVP, stopping 28 of 29 shots in the deciding game, and 24 of 25 in game two’s win… Jokers were out shot in all but one of their 14 games this season… each of the nine franchise championships have had a different goalie in net… Herren would also take home additional hardware with the most goals trophy and the most points trophy in the division… Josh Berrelli is confirmed to make an appearance at the JOD Pancake breakfast on March 24 from 9:00am-12:00pm to sign autographs… The entire Jokers team will return next season with game one coming up on March 25.

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