Jokers Secure 2nd Place with 2-2 Tie

Two teams came into their Wednesday night’s matchup both needing wins for different reasons. The Jokers (6-3) needed a win or tie in order to secure second place in the division and a first round playoff bye. The Charlestown Chiefs (3-5-1) needed a win to secure the sixth and final playoff seed.

Early you could sense the pressure in the building and both teams were feeling each other out. A high sticking penalty at 5:55 would give the Jokers a power play and they would capitalize with a faceoff zone win by Kevin LaPrade back to Jim Salkins who slid the ball perfectly to Richie Orsini who blasted a slap shot into the top right corner and a 1-0 lead. The period would end with the same score and the Jokers has a surprising 13-10 edge in shots on goal.

In the second period the Chiefs would tie the game on a goal by their leading scorer Sean Miller at 2:39. However the Chiefs would take their third of four penalties in the game near the end of the period and would pay for it. Garrett Salkins scooped up a loose ball at the top of the zone and maneuvered his way across the circles dropping it to Ken Herren who slapped home a 2-1 lead with less than a minute left in the period.

In the third period the Chiefs would ultimately out-shoot the Jokers 12-7, but with time winding down inside of one minute and the Jokers nursing a 2-1 lead, John Morach would tap in a goal mouth pass which tied the game. However, the referees would come together to discuss and waive off the goal due to a Chiefs player standing in the crease while the goal was scored. The fireworks wouldn’t end there though… with time winding down and the Chiefs’ goalie pulled, Ray Nieves streaked into the right side of the zone and fired a long wrist shot stick side low past Jokers goalie Matt Dutily, tying the game again and this one would stand. The overtime didn’t produce many opportunities but the Jokers would win the OT shot battle 4-2 but were behind in the game overall 39-31.

Notes: Mike Bradigo was a late scratch and Josh Berrelli and John Condit would also miss the game… Herren ends the season with a precarious 3 point lead (18-15) for the division lead over perennial top score Nick LaChance who has 1 game remaining… Jokers will host a playoff game next Tuesday at 8:00pm.

Jokers Of Doom Rebound With Gritty 3-2 Win

The Jokers of Doom came into Friday evening’s contest with Chaos off of a tough 6-5 loss to the Hurricanes which was also 2 losses in their last 3 games. They needed a win to get back on track and secure their playoff standing.

As per the norm, the Jokers don’t like to take early leads so in the first period Nick LaChance from Chaos scooped up a loose ball in the offensive zone, made a quick move and fired a wrist shot past Joker’s goalie Matt Dutily. Luckily the Joker’s like to make comebacks and only 1 minute and 22 seconds later Garrett Salkins fought hard for the ball in the corner, took control and glided to the side of the net and lifted a pretty backhander into the top of the net to make it 1-1. Then with just over a minute left in the period Ken Herren took a pass between the circles from Josh Berrelli and attempted to fire one high on the goalie but a Chaos defender deflected the shot sending it high in the air where seconds later it would bounce behind the net minder and into the goal giving the lucky Jokers a 2-1 lead heading to the second.

In the second period both teams would exchange one goal with Berrelli notching his 5th goal of the season stuffing in a nice backhand pass from Herren and ex-Joker defenseman Devon Sylvester getting his 5th on a long slap shot.

The final period would see a lot of back and forth action and a few good scoring opportunities but no one could find pay dirt as both goalies made all the key saves. Chaos pulled the goalie for the final couple of minutes and the ball bounced perilously close to the side of the goal in the closing seconds but the Jokers kept LaChance and Chaos off the scoreboard to hold on to the 3-2 win.

The Jokers stand at 6-3 with 12 points good for second place in the division. Their final contest is Wednesday February 21 versus last place Charlestown Chiefs (2-5-1)

Notes: Frank Melillo was a late scratch… Jokers were out shot again 28-27 and have been out shot in every game this season however their 202 overall shots is 3rd in the division… Herren now holds a 2 point lead in the race for the scoring title with 17 points… Jokers were 0-3 on the power play including a 2:00 penalty they couldn’t cash in on remaining at 1 pp goal for the season.

Jokers Fall, 6-5

The high of the Jokers win in their last game 7-3 over Hockey Balboa would be short lived. They came into their matchup with the Hurricanes short handed as Garrett Salkins, Kevin LaPrade, and John Condit would all miss the contest. The first period would see 3 goals and 19 shots between the two teams. The Jokers would have their only lead of the game on the first goal, a quick wrister by defenseman Rich Orsini that found the 5 hole. Unfortunately the Hurricanes would crack the scoreboard a couple of minutes after Orsini’s goal to tie it and added another goal in the final minute to take a 2-1 lead into the second.

In the second period again the Jokers would score first on a breakaway goal by Josh Berrelli, assisted by Paul Bellantuono (the first of this 3 assist night). Once again the Hurricanes responded with 2 goals to push the lead to 4-2 after two.

The 3rd period would start this time with the Hurricanes scoring their 3rd consecutive goal. just 53 seconds in. At that point things were looking grim for the Jokers as Berrelli would have to leave the game to prepare for his goalie appearance in the very next game. Even with these odds against them the Jokers showed some fight with 2 consecutive goals by Ken Herren and Frank Melillo to make it 5-4. Herren would score on a slap shot after a face-off win and Melillo would bang home a rebound after a shot by Herren again after a face-off win. In the end it would not be enough, the Jokers pulled goalie Matt Dutily but the Canes would put in an empty netter to seal it, although Jim Brunetti found pay-dirt on a quick wrister on a pass from the side boards by Melillo to again pull within 1 goal but could not get the equalizer before time expired. Overall a great comeback effort that fell a bit short. The Jokers are still in solid position at 5-3 and second place in the division, with a big game against 3rd place Chaos (4-2-1) coming up next week.

Notes: Jokers were out shot again in this one, 34-25… With 1 goal and 1 assist, Herren retains the division scoring lead with 15 points… Game featured no penalties… Berrelli hit the post on first period breakaway… Orsini leads all Jokers defensman with 7 points (2 G, 5 A)… next game Friday February 9 at 8:00pm versus Chaos.

Jokers Return to Win Column, 7-3

The Jokers of Doom got back on track Wednesday evening with a rousing 7-3 win over Hockey Balboa, their 2nd win vs them this season after an opening game 4-3 victory. In this game the Jokers returned to a full squad and had Matt Dutily as the backstop, allowing Josh Berrelli to return to his forward position where offense was desperately needed after last game’s 5-1 loss to the Springfield Chiefs. It wouldn’t take long for the offense to get going as Ken Herren took a pass from Garrett Salkins behind the net and stuffed it in off the goalie’s glove just 29 seconds into the game. Herren would also nab a second goal (power play) on a quick slap shot from the left circle after a nice backhand feed from defenseman Paul Bellantuono. It was looking like the Jokers would carry a somewhat comfortable 2-0 lead into the second period until Glenn Diaz fired home a point slap shot with only 18.9 seconds left in the period. This is where the speedy Berrelli makes his offensive impact felt as he scooped up a loose ball in his own zone and raced down the rink and fired in a wicked wrist shot milliseconds before the buzzer ended the period. Hockey Balboa team members would argue the goal came after the buzzer, but the decision was finalized as a good goal and a 3-1 lead.

The Jokers would carry this momentum into the second by scoring the next three goals, two from G. Salkins including an unassisted beauty after a steal and the third goal of the game for Herren, snapping in a Berrelli rebound. After those goals created a 6-1 lead the Jokers went into cruise control a bit and defensive lapses led to two Balboa goals late in the period making it 6-3 heading to the third.

The third period featured a lot of back and forth action but only one goal as Berrelli would net his second of the game on a breakaway after a great pass from Jim Salkins, his first assist of the season. That goal would take the steam out of any thoughts of a comeback and the Jokers would hold on to the 7-3 victory.

Notes: Jokers (5-2) are 2-0 vs Hockey Balboa this season while outscoring them 11-6… Herren’s four-point night gives him the overall division lead in points with 13 (8 G, 5 A)… SOG were even at 22 per team… Dutily (2.50 GAA in his two starts) made 19 saves, including several key blocks during the first period… Jokers collected their second power play goal of the season… next game Wednesday evening vs Hurricanes (3-4).

Jokers Fall 5-1 in Division Leader Showdown

The Jokers of Doom received some terrible news prior to their Saturday matinee against co-division leaders Springfield Chiefs. Captain/GM Jim Brunetti announced that goalie Andy Pettola was lost for the season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon while playing basketball. To make matters worse, primary backup Matt Dutily was unavailable for the key division battle. Luckily the Jokers had another player with goalie experience on the roster in Josh Berrelli, whose last known appearance in net for the Jokers was during the summer 2016 season.

Early on Berrelli was up to the task with a solid first period that saw a handful of good scoring chances for each side. The period also featured a few scuffles as both teams tried to get on top early. In the end the period would result in a 0-0 tie headed into the second.

In the second, the Chiefs continued to press and found pay dirt with a goal about 1/2 way through the period during a scramble in front of the net after an initial save on a close shot. The Chiefs would add another goal later in the period and no further scoring would occur resulting in a 2-0 deficit.

Finally, in the third period the Jokers still couldn’t find their offensive mojo, which again was made worse by top winger Garrett Salkins not playing the entire period due to illness. The Chiefs would add a 3rd goal before the Jokers finally found the score sheet as Kevin LaPrade blasted home a feed between the circles from Ken Herren to make it 3-1. The momentum would be very brief as the Chiefs quickly responded with another goal approximately 7 seconds later, ending any thoughts of a comeback. Later they would add a 5th goal to close it out. The loss leaves the Jokers at 4-2 and in second place, 2 points behind the Springfield Chiefs and 1 point ahead of Chaos (3-2-1).

Notes: The Jokers were out-shot 23-20, with Berrelli making 18 saves… Also missing the game were stalwart defensemen Jim Salkins, Paul Bellantuono, and Tom Condit… Defenseman Mike Bradigo made his second appearance of the season and logged 28 minutes played alongside line-mate Rich Orsini… “No Comment”, was the reply from GM Brunetti when asked if Pettola had a “no basketball” clause in his contact…. next game Wednesday 1/24 vs Hockey Balboa (2-4), whom the Jokers defeated 4-3 in the first game this season.

Jokers Back On W Train – Shutout Vipers 7-0

The Jokers of Doom came into Wednesday night’s tilt with the Vipers coming off of a bitter 2-1 loss to the Tomahawks which snapping a 3 game win streak. This game saw the return of the father/son Salkins duo and the impact was high. Richie Orsini started the festivities with his first goal of the season with a quick wrist shot that found pay dirt stick side low on ex-Joker goalie Fernando Gomez assisted by Garrett Salkins and Kevin LaPrade. Orsin’s goal would end up being the game-winner as Andy Pettola bounced back with a stellar 28-save shutout. The first period would also feature a G. Salkins goal after a Viper turnover and a couple of shifty moves in front of the net. Josh Berrelli  would add a score later in the period assisted by Ken Herren and Jim Brunetti. The second period featured only one goal, a backhanded flip in on a 2-1 breakout by Herren on a sweet feed from Berrelli past the lone defenseman. In the third period the Jokers would tack on three more goals from Brunetti, as well as Berrelli, and G. Salkins with their second each of the game.

Throughout the game, both teams questioned the officials’ judgement on penalties, icings, and face off locations.

Notes: Berrelli made his rare presence felt with two goals and two assists… Pettola is now 3-1 and leads the division with 1.75 GAA and 93.5% save percentage… Frank Mellilo and John Condit missed the game for undisclosed reasons… Herren (1g,1a) now tied for league lead in goals (5) and points (8)… Jokers tripled their season PIM with three penalties in the game… next contest: Saturday January 20 vs Springfield Chiefs.

Jokers 3 Game Win Streak Snapped

The Jokers of Doom took a nice 3 game winning streak into a tilt with the 0-2 Tomahawks. The Jokers quickly went down 1-0 at 7:13 of the first period on a goal by Frank Conaci. Clearing the zone was a continued problem for the Jokers all game long and it resulted in being down by a goal and out shot 10-8 after one period. In the second the struggles continued but the Jokers were able to tie the score and a backhander by Kevin Laprade assisted by Frank Melillo. The tie would be short lived as only 8 seconds later the Tomahawks threw a long wrist shot at the net and found pay dirt. The period would result in 1 goal for each squad. In the final period both team had some decent chances including a stellar save by Jokers goalie Andy Pettola miraculously covering up an open net. With the goalie pulled, Paul Bellantuono would have a golden opportunity with room to score but hits the face mask of the goalie ending any chance of forcing overtime.

Notes: Jokers were out shot in the game 28-23… Garrett and Jim Salkins both missed the contest… Game featured no penalties and this was the second straight game with no penalties for JOD, overall Kevin LaPrade leads the team with 1:00 PIM… Jokers tied with Springfield Chiefs for division lead at 3-1… Next game Wednesday vs Vipers (2-1).

Jokers hold on for third straight win

With icy conditions impacting both teams’ rosters, the Jokers of Doom escaped with a 3-2 to win and lead the division at 3-0. Despite Chaos (1-2) having a position player (captain Adam Caron) suit up as a first-time goalie to start the game, the Jokers offense struggled. Nine shots in the first period yielded no goals. The Chaos defense stood strong, blocking shots and limiting second chances.
Early in the second period, defenseman Rich Orsini won a battle to keep the ball in the offensive zone that Kenny Herren scooped up and pushed toward the net. Center Frank Melillo was waiting for the pass and found an opening to give the Jokers a 1-0 lead.

Chaos would substitute a new, more experienced netminder into the game and quickly tie the score later in the period. The Jokers would continue to apply pressure though. Orsini again held the zone, and this time it was Melillo assisting on Herren’s division-leading fourth goal of the season to put the Jokers back in front.

Late in the third period, Kevin LaPrade fired a wrister passed the goalie to put the Jokers ahead by two. Chaos though, wouldn’t go quietly and pulled their goalie in favor of an extra attacker with 91 seconds to play. Players from both teams clogged the front of the net. Chaos defenseman Doug Stewart floated a shot high over the traffic which somehow found its way behind goalie Andy Pettola with only 15 seconds on the clock. The comeback would fall just short though as LaPrade won the ensuing faceoff and the Jokers defense killed the final seconds.

Notes: The team was without Josh Berrelli for the second time in three games. The Jokers went 0-2 on the power play and are still without a PPG on the season. Pettola played great, stopping 27 of 29 shots. Next game isn’t until January 6 vs. Tomahawks

Jokers Win 3-2, Move To 2-0

The Jokers of Doom boosted their young season record to 2-0 with a hard fought 3-2 win over the Hurricanes. The first period ended in a 1-1 tie. After the Hurricanes went ahead 1-0, Paul Bellantuono tied the game with his first goal of the season on a poke in through the 5 hole on a pass thrown toward the middle of the circles. Later in the first, Garrett Salkins picked up a short handed goal after picking off an errant goalie pass and stuffing it in the net to give the Jokers a 2-1 lead. The Hurricanes tied it in the second period and in the third Rich Orsini made a nice keep at the blue line and the ball found Kevin LaPrade to the right of the goalie between the circles and he turned and fired it home to make it 3-2. Backup net-minder Matt Dutily made several key saves including a big stop on a partial breakaway in the 3rd to preserve the victory.


Notes: Dutily got the win (1-0) with 21 saves… Center Josh Berrelli returned after a 1 game absence due to undisclosed “violation of team rules”…  Jim Salkins, Mike Bradigo, Bellantuono, and Orsini all anchored the back line with solid defensive play… next game vs Chaos on 12/22.

Jokers of Doom Win Season Opener, 4-3

The Jokers entered the Winter season with a revamped roster after having difficulties and forfeiting the entire season after only 3 games. New additions included defenseman Jim Salkins, his son Garrett (forward), defenseman John Condit, and goalie Andy Pettola.

The game didn’t start off well against Hockey Balboa as Dave Shupenis blasted in a long slap shot to open the scoring in the first period. New addition Condit tied the score with his own slap shot from the point. The Balboans would add another goal off of a Jokers giveaway as the first period would end in a 2-1 deficit.

After a lone goal in the second period by Ken Herren, he would stay hot in the 3rd by firing a wrist shot over the blocker on a feed from Garrett Salkins after a 2 on 1 breakout. Herren would complete the natural hat trick with a long blast that changed direction and found the corner of the net for a 4-2 lead that held until the final seconds where the Balboans would get one more goal on a point shot for a 4-3 final. Overall –  a solid victory to start the season.

Notes: The younger Salkins netted two assists and father Jim was very solid on the back line… Goalie Andy Pettola assisted on Herren’s 2nd goal… The Jokers were out-shot 23-19 and were 0-2 on the power play… Josh Berrelli missed the contest for undisclosed reasons.

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