The Jokers entered Tuesday night’s game versus the YellowJackets in desperate need of win to avoid an 0-3 start to the Spring season. Unfortunately once again the team quickly got down 2-0 after the first period and captain Jim Brunetti was not pleased. “We need more shots, guys” he was overheard imploring his team on the bench. Finally in the second period Phil Mrazik was able to pick up a pass across the goal mouth off the boards and turn and fire a quick wrist shot past the YJ goalie making 2-1. The momentum would not last as the Jackets scored again to make it 3-1 heading into the final period. Josh Berrelli scored his 3rd goal of the season once again cutting the lead to 1 goal at 3-2 and once again the momentum was quickly lost after a sniper like slapshot went over the shoulder of goalie Fernando Gomez and re-establish the 2 goal lead at 4-2. Midway though the 3rd period Ken Herren came of the bench on a line change and intercepted a wayward clearing pass, streaked down the right side and fired a shot stick side high to beat the goalie. For the 3rd time the deficit to was 1, but alas the Jokers could not punch through the tying goal as the Jackets withstood fierce pressure in the final minutes.
Notes: Tim Fisher and Justin Cossette missed the game for undisclosed reasons… Chris Dickinson made his season debut… Mrazik played his last game of the season and he has been recalled to Thailand… 17 day layoff until next game on April 15… no word on makeup date for 3/14 game.
The Jokers of Doom were hoping to rebound against the Vikings after a disappointing Spring season opener loss, however things got off to a rocky start after a quick tap in goal on a pass across the goal mouth only 34 seconds into the game. At the 4:20 mark the Vikings struck again on a loose ball in front of the net and after a few pokes the goal was scored and it was 2-0. This time the Jokers would not wait until the 3rd period to find some offense as Josh Berrelli took a quick pass from Ken Herren and found himself alone in the middle and beat the opposing goalie (former Joker backup Matt Chapman) with a nifty backhand to make it 2-1 after the first period. Even after this momentum building goal the Jokers gave it back only 9 seconds into the 2nd period as Steve Veillux picked up a Jokers giveaway and blasted a slap shot stick side low past Tim Fisher. The Vikings would add another goal in the second and again in early the 3rd to make it 5-1. Justin Cossette would score at the 6:12 mark to make it 5-2 but the deficit was too much to overcome in the final four minutes. After the game, assistant captain Rich Orsini said, “We just couldn’t connect on our passes and had a lot of trouble getting it of our zone”. It definitely seemed the steadying presence of veteran blue-liner Devon Sylvester was missed, and also forced C/W Dave Dreschler to play defense.
Notes: Jokers captain Jim Brunetti, John Deluca, and Sylvester all missed the game for undisclosed reasons… Fisher made his season debut and stopped 23 of 28 shots… Cossette also made season debut… no official word on a makeup date for the game vs Charleston Chiefs… Jokers will again look the crack the win column on March 28 at 8:00pm vs the Yellow Jackets.
The Jokers of Doom came into the first game of the Spring 2017 on Sunday night against the Tomahawks hoping to see an uptick in the offense with return of Phil Mrazik and the move of Dave Dreschler back to the offense. Unfortunately after 2 periods the offense remained stagnant and the team was behind 2-0 after a tap in goal in the first and another second period goal. Captain Jim Brunetti searched for answers and considered juggling the lines but in the end kept the personnel as they were. Finally in the 3rd period Ken Herren was able to break down the middle and redirect a Frank Melillo pass on net and eventually poke it home after a few stellar efforts by Tomahawks goalie Matt DiMascio and make it a 2-1 game. The celebration of a goal had only just ended when less than a minute later the Tomahawks scored on a blue line slap shot that screened Jokers goalie Fernando Gomez. “I screened him”, Dreschler could be heard saying on the bench after the goal. Later in the third period the Jokers were able to make it 3-2 on a curling wrist shot by Josh Berrelli with assists from John Deluca and Mrazik. Once again the Tomahawks responded as Jesse Tanguay picked up a loose ball and blasted a shot which was stopped by Gomez but he was able to drive the rebound off of the pads and dribble in the 4th and decisive goal. The Jokers 2nd game on Tuesday evening was postponed due to blizzard Eugene, they will look to get in the win column on Saturday night vs the Vikings.
Notes: Rumors of a Kevin LaPrade return were stifled as he signed on with the Shuperheroes in D division… Phil Mrazik returns to the Jokers full time and played mostly defense in game 1… Justin Cossette, Chris Dickinson, Gomez, and Chris McMullen move to part time roles… Tim Fisher, who would have started the now postponed game 2, will be back in net for game 4 versus the Yellow Jackets and should start most games for the remainder of the season.
The Jokers faced the Yellow Jackets in a game with both teams looking to – and needing to – get a win to keep pace with the division. The Jokers lost their last meeting with the Yellow Jackets 6-3 last season but came prepared with a full roster and starting goalie Fernando Gomez in net. The game was tightly contested throughout until Secor of the Yellow Jackets hustled to a rebound and slipped a shot past Gomez near the middle of the first period. Joker defenseman Chris McMullen tied the game exactly two minutes later with a slap shot from the point on a pass from center Frank Melillo after defenseman Rich Orsini kept the zone to tie things at 1 with 3:13 left in the first. A minute later captain Jim Brunetti chipped it in the zone as winger John DeLuca gave chase. DeLuca beat the defensemen for the ball in the corner and fed center Justin Cossette in front to take the lead at 2-1 just a minute later. The game would go back and forth for the rest of the way with both teams trying to find a way to score. The Jokers had numerous scoring chances but the Yellow Jackets goalie did his best to keep his team in the game. Gomez of the Jokers continued to make big saves to keep the lead safe for the Jokers and the team responded in front of him by minimizing shots on goal.
Late in the third period with the Jokers holding on to the narrow 2-1 lead, defenseman Chris Dickinson got the ball in the corner and fed Cosette just as he stepped off of the bench. At the same time, the Yellow Jackets pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. Cossette wasted no time and buried the three-quarter-rink shot to seal the victory. The win moved the Jokers of doom 2-2-1 and stay in the playoff hunt. The Yellow Jackets fell to 0-5 with the loss. Up until this game the Jokers offense has struggled to consistently find the net, scoring a total of three goals in the previous four combines. It will be critical for the team to have their offense find their stride moving forward if they hope to contend in the playoffs.
In their only scheduled match-up against the Hurricanes last season, the Jokers of Doom couldn’t field a team and had to forfeit. The teams faced each other on Thursday night for the first time with both teams fully staffed. The game marked the franchise debut for goalie Fernando Gomez, and the return of forward Justin Cossette and Dave Dreschler who will play both defense and center. The Hurricanes opened the game with a ton of pressure and found themselves on the fortunate end of a quirky play when captain Shaun Langdon threw a pass toward the net from the corner. Joker defenseman Rich Orsini had center Vic Perry tied up in front and lifted Perry’s stick knee-high, directly into the pass for a deflection past Gomez for an early 1-0 lead only 55 seconds into the game. The ‘Canes would bring pressure and control time-of-possession for most of the first period. The Jokers defense was outstanding though, blocking shots, clogging passing lanes, and limiting the opposition to only eight shots the entire period.
Although the Jokers offense was finally generating opportunities and putting shots on goal, frustration was mounting as none made their way to the back of the net. Late in the second period, Cossette blasted a slapshot from his own zone which hit goalie Derek Hayden square in the chest. Hayden however, couldn’t control or locate the rebound which went high in the air, landed behind him and rolled in the net evening the score (and fluke goals) at one each. For the remainder of the game the teams battled cautiously, each bending, neither breaking. Late in the third period in an attempt to push a go-ahead goal across, Dreschler replaced forward Jim Brunetti, slid Josh Berrelli to wing, and manned center. Dreschler and Berrelli stayed together through the end of regulation and overtime each coming up just short on breakout plays. Gomez kept things even on the other side as well, making big stops and controlling the clock as the teams each grabbed a point in the standings with the 1-1 tie.