Cossette scores lone goal in tie with Hurricanes
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.