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.

Jokers Snag 3rd Straight Win, 8-7

The Jokers of Doom (3-4) won their third straight contest with a wild 8-7 win Monday night over the Vipers (4-2-1). The Jokers came into the game without leading goal Graig Romberg, who has 8 goals in 3 games played on the season. In his absence Alix Langlais and Jeremy Battye had big games to make up the deficit.

Amazingly, every period of the game would result in 3 goals for one team and two for the other. Luckily for the Jokers, they were on the plus side in the 2nd and 3rd periods. In the first period, the Vipers would strike first as Chad Huck would snap in his own rebound from between the circles. Langlais would then add a rebound tap in power play goal on a Huck tripping penalty and a minute later John Deluca would score an unassisted goal after a steal in the Vipers end and a deflected pass that went in off of a defenseman. Alas, the Vipers would add 2 more goals before the period would end to hold a 3-2 lead.

In the second the Jokers would score the first 3 goals of the period, Battye would nab 2 goals sandwiched around a goal by Ken Herren. The Vipers would fight back with 2 goals of their own by Stan Capp, tying the game at 5-5 heading to the 3rd.

In the 3rd period the Vipers would strike first with a goal before the Jokers would again erupt for 3 straight goals from Phil Elliott, John DeLuca, and Battye’s hat trick goal. The Jokers never like to have a 2 goal lead for long, so they quickly allowed a Viper goal with about 1:20 remaining to make it an 8-7 game, but hung on the rest of the way with several zone clearing shots to preserve the victory. The win puts the Jokers right in the thick of the playoff race with several teams vying for a few spots. They currently hold the final playoff spot in 6th place with 6 points with 3 games remaining.

Notes: Jokers were outshot 33-29… Goalie Matt Chapman evens his record at 2-2… Frank Melillo nets 3 assists in the game… Alix Langlais 1 goal and 2 assists… Battye also added an assist for a 4 point night… Herren/Elliott 1 goal 1 assist each… Jim Brunetti 2 assists… Rich Orsini 1 assist 1 penalty.

Jokers Drop Tough Fall Season Opener, 6-5

Jokers of Doom are back for the fall season and came up short in the opener by a score of 6-5. The roster needed an overhaul after the team was unable to secure the return of the Salkins family, John Condit, or speedster Josh Berrelli. Also not returning due to injuries are Kevin LaPrade and defensemen Paul Bellantuono. The team was able to secure the return of Graig Romberg, Phil Elliott, John Deluca, and Jeremy Battye as well as Alix Langlais coming back from an injury. Andy Pettola will also return in the nets but was absent for the opener with backup duties falling to John Deluca.

The Jokers opened against Hockey Balboa and while they were able to strike first in the opening minutes on a goal from ex-Joker Dave Dreschler, the Jokers would fight back with goals by Romberg (power play) and Battye to end the first with a 2-1 lead.

In the second although the shots were even at 11 per team, Balboa would gain the edge scoring 2 goals and taking a 3-2 lead into a frenzied final period of play.

The third period again had 11 shots per team but 6 goals were scored between the two teams. The Jokers would nab the first 2 scores with Battye and Romberg each scoring their second goals of the game, including a wicked snap backhander into the top of the net by Romberg. The momentum would be short lived however as Balboa would click off 3 straight goals over only 1-1/2 minutes starting with a disputed goal. Dreschler’s second goal of the game ricocheted off his upper body and squirted past Deluca. The Jokers argued for a forward motion deflection and the goal should be nullified. The referees conferred and decided the goal was good. Balboa would add two more goals and although Romberg did get the hart trick with his 3rd goal, the Jokers team couldn’t recover and get the tying goal with the extra attacker in the final minute. The Jokers will next tangle with 0-1 Tomahawks on Sunday September 16.

Jokers Goal Scoring Woes Result in Two Losses

The Jokers of Doom continue to struggle mightily to find the back of the net, resulting in the team dropping it’s last two games 3-2 and 3-1 to the Tomahawks and Hockey Balboa after opening the season with a 3-2 OT win.

In the Tomahawks game, as per the norm the Jokers fell behind early and were down 2-0 after the first period. They battled back to score the next 2 goals, Ken Herren with the lone goal scored in the second period on a power play and then just 1:43 into the third Frank Melillo tied it up. In the end the Tomahawks would break the tie mid way through the third period as Steve Lubinsky scooped a loose ball between the circles and his quick wrist shot found the 5 hole on goalie Josh Berrelli who was filling in for Matt Dutily and stopped 26 of 29 shots.

In the game versus Hockey Balboa, Dutily was back in net and the Jokers were hoping to find paydirt more often but it just wasn’t to be. Once again, they found themselves down early as Balboa would score on a long shot in the first period which ended with Jokers sown by a goal. Although holding the offensive zone longer than Balboa the second period yielded no goals and another goal against for a 2-0 deficit heading the the third period. In the final frame, the Jokers would finally cash in as Tyler Salkins would tap in a rebound off a shot from Herren. The same theme would hold though as the Balboan’s cashed in another goal midway through the third and hung on for the 3-1 victory. Goalie Matt Dutily stopped 29 of 32 shots. No doubt captain Jim Brunetti will be devising new strategies to deploy in the next contest on Sunday night versus the 3-0 division leading Vipers.

 

Notes: Jokers were 1-6 on the power play in the Tomahawks game… 37 shots for versus Tomahawks is the highest total in several seasons… 0 power plays and only 2 matching penalties in second game versus Hockey Balboa… Jim Salkins was a scratch in game 1 and Garrett Salkins was a scratch in game 2… Forward Jeff Herget was signed as a per game player and debuted vs Balboa… Despite the losses Jokers won the shots on goal in both games 37-29 and 33-32 which they hadn’t done all of last season.

Happy Spring! Jokers Win Opener in OT, 3-2

The Jokers of Doom finally got the spring season underway  versus Chaos after game 1 of the new season was replaced with game 3 of the finals due to weather. As per the norm, the Jokers hate having leads early in games, so they gave up a goal after a Jokers turnover in their offensive zone and a quick pass and slap-shot goal by Lou Coleman. The period would end with no penalties and the Jokers out shot 11-6.

In the second just 1:27 into the period Ken Herren would intercept a pass attempt between the circles and fire home a goal stick side low to make it 1-1. A couple of minutes later Garrett Salkins would scoop up a loose ball, move into the offensive zone a zip a wrist shot home from the top of the circle. This period would end with 1 penalty for Chaos and the Jokers up in shots, 9-7.

The 3rd period would feature some back and forth action from both teams but the better chances coming from Chaos as Jokers backstop Matt Dutily continued to impress with many key saves. However with only 29 seconds left in the period a confusing off sides call and touch up would cause the ball to be unattended at mid-dek where a Chaos player took a long slap-shot that found it’s way past Dutily and tie the game at 2-2. The 3rd period would end with 1 Jokers penalty and a 10-7 shot disadvantage.

In the overtime with just 1 minute left Josh Berrelli would take what appeared to be a harmless wrist shot from the blue line but somehow it found it’s way through the goaltender and give the Jokers an improbably 3-2 win to open the spring season.

Notes: Jokers were outshot overall 32-24… now 8-1 in last 9 games dating back to last season… Tyler Salkins made his season debut joining dad Jim and brother Garrett on the team… Tomahawks (1-1) will be the opponent for game 2 on April 3.

CHAMPS!

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.

Jokers Even Up Finals with 2-1 Win!

The Jokers of Doom need a win Sunday night to force a game 3 winner take all matchup against the Hurricanes in the D division dek finals. They got that win in a thrilling 2-1 victory. Once again the Jokers despise having early leads so they again went down 1-0 in the first period at 5:12 on a quick slap shot goal after a failed clearing attempt by the Jokers. The Jokers would get a late power play on the only penalty of the game with 43 seconds left in the period but could not capitalize and the period ended at 1-0.

In the second the game was starting to get the feel of game 1 a bit but the Jokers were only down by one goal. The next goal of the game would be critical and the Jokers tied the game with only 30 seconds left in the period. Garrett Salkins would pick up a loose ball near the center line, take a few steps into the Hurricanes zone and fire a laser beam like wrister into the top left corner of the net past a stunned Canes goalie. A huge goal to lift the team and give some high motivation to get another in the 3rd period.

In the third period the game was tense as the next goal could decide the game and also the championship. Both teams were careful not to give up too many good chances when out of nowhere Josh Berrelli streaked down the right side and with not much of angle fired a quick shot over the goalie into the top of the net. Another crucial goal gave the Jokers what they needed to hold off the furious Hurricanes rush and preserve the win and tie the series at one game a piece. Matt Dutily was the star of this game as he made several key saves including a highlight reel stop in the third period on what seemed like an open net as he reached out and deflected a shot with the blocker. He ended the game with 24 saves as again the Jokers found it tough to generate shots with only 16 of their own. The deciding game 3 is set for Wednesday evening at 9:00pm and is sure to be a great contest.

Jokers Drop Finals Opener, 4-1

The Jokers of Doom came off their playoff semi-final win on a high after putting together a solid game and a good third period to secure the victory. In this game however things started on a sour note as the Hurricanes opened the scoring at 7:26 with a goal by Frank Guest on a wicked wrister from the side boards. The Jokers would quickly tie the game on a tip in power play goal from Josh Berrelli. Jim Salkins fired a shot from the point that Berrelli got just enough of the get past the goaltender. Once again the Jokers don’t like keeping leads for long and the Canes again would go ahead on a goal at the 3:01 mark. The period would end with a 2-1 lead for the Hurricanes and a 9-5 shot advantage.

The Canes would put more 2 more on the scoreboard in the second on 2 unassisted goals by different players at 5:30 and 2:52. The middle period would end with the Jokers outscored 2-0 and out shot 10-7.

The third period would see very little in the way of good chances with both teams basically playing out the game. In boxing terms the Jokers probably pulled out a 10-9 win in the third period even they were out shot again but only by a 6-5 margin. The Jokers will hope to carry some positive momentum into game 2 on Sunday night.

Jokers Steal Playoff Win

Once again the Jokers of Doom found themselves being out shot in a game, this time by the hefty margin of 29-13. However as in many other games this season, they found a way to win versus the Vipers.

Ken Herren opened the scoring at 3:12 by sliding in a backhander into a wide open net after a brief scramble in front, assisted by linemates Garrett Salkins and Frank Melillo. The period would end with a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard and an 11-5 deficit in shots.

In the second Josh Berrelli made it 2-0 after picking up a rebound and lofting a back hand flip past ex-Joker goalie Fernando Gomez, assisted by linemates Jim Brunetti and Kevin LaPrade. The Vipers however would get on the board before the period ended as John Venditti would blast home a long shot at 4:47. Once again the period would end tied 1-1 in goals but behind in shots 9-5.

Things got more interesting in the 3rd period as there would be 3 penalties and 3 goals scored. Just 35 seconds in LaPrade would again find the scoresheet, slamming home a quick blast between the circles on a feed from Berrelli. Only 38 seconds later a wide open Jeff Condel would whip home a wrist shot to make it 3-2 and increase the pressure. LaPrade would once again bust through with a goal on a quick shot from 10 feet in front on a rebound of a shot by G. Salkins. The Vipers could not get another past Jokers goalie Matt Dutily, who came up huge many times especially in the first period and again in the final 6+ minutes.

The Jokers will now move on the best of 3 finals in D division with game 1 Saturday at 1:00pm at the Plainville Arena against the Hurricanes, who upset top seed Springfield Chiefs 7-3. They are 1-1 versus the Hurricanes this season, winning 3-2 on December 13, and losing 6-5 on January 31. It has the makings of a 3 game battle.

Notes: Jokers scored two goals on three shots in the third period… Final shot total Vipers 29, Jokers 13… Injured goalie Andy Pettola (achilles) was present on the bench rooting on his team.

Herrren hold on-nabs scoring title!

Congratulations to winger Kenny Herren for earning his first-ever scoring trophy with the Jokers of Doom! Herren not only had the most goals (11), but also finished atop the division in total points (18).

Choas forward (and former Joker) Nick Lachance had an opportunity to leapfrog Herren, but was held to only two points in his teams’ final game of the season. “I’m just happy to have be part of such a good team that’s ready for the challenge of the playoffs.” Herren said.

Herren earned the Most Assists title in April 2015, but this marks his first time leading the division in either goals or points for the Jokers.

 

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