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.
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
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 defensemanRich 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.
The Jokers of Doom opened the Winter 2017 season yesterday against the speedy Springfield Chiefs with no bench and emergency goalie Nick Lachance. The Chiefs, on the other hand, had a fully stocked bench but opted to begin the game short handed to match the Jokers until their fifth player arrived late in the first period. Even with a full five-man team, the Jokers knew this wouldn’t be a high scoring affair. The plan was simple; keep it close and pick spots on offense to maybe sneak a shot or two.
As usual, the Jokers’ defense stepped up and limited the Chiefs’ chances while Lachance turned aside all 13 shots in the first period while the Jokers mustered a mere six. Nearly halfway into the second period, defenseman Chris Dickinson kept the zone and dished to winger Ken Herrenin the high slot. Herren wound and fired a slapshot that appeared to go in the net but came off of the crossbar where Frank Melillo was waiting and cashed in the rebound for a 1-0 lead. Although this provided a bit of breathing room, the Chiefs continued to hustle and look to get something going against the tiring Jokers. In spite of their best efforts though, the Chiefs would come up empty as the second period came to an end.
In the final period, the focus was on on playing smart and killing the clock. The Chiefs wouldn’t give up though, and managed a game-high 15 shots on goal in the third period. With 1:38 to play in the game, the Chiefs finally found the net on a shot through traffic that was deflected in front. Before their celebration could even begin though, the officials convened and ruled that the Chiefs had a player in the crease and disallowed the goal. With renewed hope the Jokers controlled the ball and cleared the zone, using the winding clock wisely and came away with the 1-0 win. Lachance stopped all 40 shots he faced in earning his first win and shutout in his first game with the Jokers.
The Jokers bounced back quickly after a tough loss to the Yellow Jackets on Tuesday by defeating the Charleston Chiefs 4-2 on Friday night. In Tuesday’s contest, the Jokers fought their way back to tie the game at three early in the third period but surrendered a trio of goals and lost 6-3. Things started much more promisingly though on Friday night. The game was the last of the season for both teams and final playoff seeding hinging on the outcome. The winner of this game would take second place and face Dreshperados and the loser would fall to fourth place and face the top seeded Hurricanes in the other semi-final game.
Right-winger Jimmy Dowd chased a Chiefs defender behind the net to create a turnover and found center Josh Berrelli speeding towards the net. Berrelli didn’t waste any time and flicked a shot past the diving goalie to give the Jokers a 1-0 lead only 45 seconds into the game. On the other end of the rink, Joker goalie Tim Fisher was his usual steady self making stop after stop on tough shots from every angle. The Chiefs would get a break early in the second period though when a clearing attempt was inadvertently deflected into the net, tying the game at 1.
The Jokers offense though wouldn’t let up and continued to put pressure on the Chiefs defense. Right-winger John DeLuca was relentless in the corners and found defenseman Ray Glowicki alone at the point. Glowicki one-timed a slapshot through traffic and over the goalies shoulder to give the Jokers a second-period lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Ken Herren and Jim Brunetti each scored in the period to make the score 4-1. A pair of penalties to defenseman Rich Orsini in the third period and speedy Shaun Frobey took advantage on the Chiefs’ second power play to narrow the gap to 4-2. Fisher would continue to stand tall though, finishing the game with 25 saves on 27 shots in earning the win.
The Jokers of Doom faced the Tomahawks with most of the division separated by only a point in the standings. The Tomahawks got on the board early on a goal by former Joker Ricky Clemente only 1:43 into the first period. The Jokers, again operating with a short bench, did not want to get in a deep hole early. For the next two periods though, the game stayed 1-0 with both teams looking for their opportunity. Solid Joker defense and passing helped to ease the difficulty of the lack of extra players. The Tomahawks would add a goal in the third period. Defenseman John Deluca’s errant pass wound up on the opponent’s stick and made the score 2-0.
Forward Jimmy Dowd scored with five minutes to go to bring the jokers to within one. Late in the third period Tomahawks player Paul Norton took a roughing penalty to give the Jokers a power play. The Jokers would capitalize and score with just :45 left in the third period. Phil Mrazik made a nice play to keep the ball deep and found Romberg for a wide open shot to the short side. Play continued through overtime with but neither team would score. The Jokers outshot the tomahawks 26-24. Goalie Tim fisher was outstanding between the pipes to keep the Jokers in the game.
The Jokers of Doom beleaguered roster battled against the Big Fish on Friday night and came away with a narrow 3-2 win. Goalie Matt Chapmanfilled in admirably for the second straight game, stopping 18 of 20 shots faced and helped his new teammates by controlling the clock as much as possible.
Luckily for the Jokers, they would start strong. Joker alumnus Brian Beausoleilwas signed prior to the game – adding to the franchise’s largest roster – and contributed from start to finish. Beausoleil cashed in a nifty pass from line-mate Graig Romberg for a 1-0 lead less than 2:30 into the game. Only eight seconds later Romberg would make a Big Fish turnover costly when he intercepted a pass only a few feet from the opposing goalie and put a quick wrist shot over his glove to double the Jokers lead. The period would end with the Jokers up 2-1 after the Big Fish scored on a slapshot resulting from a lost defensive-zone face off.
Almost halfway through the middle period, Romberg would hit a streaking Josh Berrelli with a cross-rink pass just over the center line. Berrelli carried the ball to the top of the face off circle and threw a wrist shot high to the opposite side to extend the lead to 3-1. As much as the Jokers hoped that would be enough, they knew better. Although both teams had a short bench, the Jokers had only one player on their bench and knew the key would be to play tough, smart defense. That’s where veterans Rich Orsini and Devon Sylvester came in. Not surprisingly, the pair played most of the game with Romberg filling in when necessary – blocking shots, clearing the crease, and making things difficult for the opposing offense.
The Big Fish had some fight left in them though, and scored to trim the lead to 3-2 with only 2:40 left in the game. Both teams labored as they counted down the final minutes. With just over a minute to go, the Big Fish goalie would race to the bench in favor of the extra attacker. Beausoleil and Sylvester would each block a shot in the final seconds and the Jokers would hold on for the win.