Deluca Shines in Jokers 4-3 Playoff Victory

Jokers backup goalie John Deluca was called upon to man the net after a late scratch of starter Matt Chapman. Deluca was up for the task as he stopped 20 of 23 shots en route to a hard fought 4-3 first round playoff win for the Jokers of Doom hockey club over the Tomahawks. Also scratched for this game was the Jokers top goal scorer Graig Romberg and center Frank Melillo. Jeremy Battye stepped in and paced the offense with with a goal and 3 assists. The first period ended with a 1-0 Jokers lead on a goal by Phil Elliott. In the second the Jokers would extend the lead to 3-0 on goals by Battye and Ken Herren before the Tomahawks would put in a floater shot from the point past Deluca who was screened by a lot of traffic in front of the net. In the 3rd period a delayed penalty was about to be called on the Tomahawks less than a minute into the period however Battye found a wide open Jim Brunetti in front of the left side of the net and he found pay dirt with a quick wrist shot past the keeper. The Jokers would then hold on for dear life as the Tomahawks would score a goal with 3 and a half minutes remaining and another late goal at the 1:32 mark but after that they could not get the tying goal and the Jokers would emerge victorious. The Jokers will next face Hockey Balboa on Saturday afternoon with a trip to the finals on the line.