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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.