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.