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.