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.

Jokers Lose 3-2, Fall to 0-3

The Jokers of Doom welcomed back C/W Brian Watrous and also added new defensemen Paul Bellatuano but it was not enough to overcome the Tomahawks in a tough 3-2 loss. Ken Herren opened the scoring 3 minutes into the first period scooping up an errant clearing pass and rifling a quick shot over the goalies glove hand. The first period would end 1-0. In the second period it was a different story as the Tomahawks would outscore the Jokers 3-0 and take that lead into the 3rd period. In the 3rd, the Jokers couldn’t muster much until defensemen Mike Bradigo blasted in a power play goal from the point at 8:04. In the last 2 minutes the Jokers did have some pressure but were unable to claim the tying goal and thus the game ended 3-2. Matt Dutily stopped 33 of 36 shots in net for the Jokers. Next up is a Saturday matinee at 1:00pm vs Springfield Chiefs (1-1). Delfo Tringali suffered a groin injury in the 1st period and returned in a limited role. No word on the severity or his availability for the next game.

Jokers of Doom Lose Fall Season Opener, 6-1

The new season brought a few new faces to the Jokers of Doom roster, including goalie Matt Dutily, forwards C.J. Lupoli and Delfo Tringali, and defenseman Aaron Duncan. Unfortunately the overall results continued to resemble last season with a major struggle to put the ball in the net. Miraculously the Jokers and opponent Charlestown Chiefs both had 31 shots on goal, but almost all the quality chances were with the Chiefs, including a hat trick from Sean Miller. The Jokers could just never break through the stout Chiefs defense, with most of the shots coming from lengthy distances or tough angles. Dutily’s first game as net minder came with many point blank shots, so the Jokers will look to tighten the defense and generate some offense in the next game vs the YellowJackets.

Jokers fall, 5-2

The Jokers of Doom took a somewhat short handed squad into Friday night’s tilt with Charleston Chiefs with 3 available subs. Through 2 periods the Jokers held their own and findings themselves down 1-0 entering the 3rd period. In the 3rd, the Chiefs would add two more goals to go up 3-0 before the Jokers fought back with goals from Kevin LaPrade and Devon Sylvester to pull within 3-2. Alas, the Chiefs would grab a 4th goal and later add an empty net tally to make the final score 5-2. They will try to keep their slim playoff hopes alive on Thursday versus the 0-5 Crusaders.

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