Jokers bounce back – beat Yellow Jackets 3-1
The Jokers faced the Yellow Jackets in a game with both teams looking to – and needing to – get a win to keep pace with the division. The Jokers lost their last meeting with the Yellow Jackets 6-3 last season but came prepared with a full roster and starting goalie Fernando Gomez in net. The game was tightly contested throughout until Secor of the Yellow Jackets hustled to a rebound and slipped a shot past Gomez near the middle of the first period. Joker defenseman Chris McMullen tied the game exactly two minutes later with a slap shot from the point on a pass from center Frank Melillo after defenseman Rich Orsini kept the zone to tie things at 1 with 3:13 left in the first. A minute later captain Jim Brunetti chipped it in the zone as winger John DeLuca gave chase. DeLuca beat the defensemen for the ball in the corner and fed center Justin Cossette in front to take the lead at 2-1 just a minute later. The game would go back and forth for the rest of the way with both teams trying to find a way to score. The Jokers had numerous scoring chances but the Yellow Jackets goalie did his best to keep his team in the game. Gomez of the Jokers continued to make big saves to keep the lead safe for the Jokers and the team responded in front of him by minimizing shots on goal.
Late in the third period with the Jokers holding on to the narrow 2-1 lead, defenseman Chris Dickinson got the ball in the corner and fed Cosette just as he stepped off of the bench. At the same time, the Yellow Jackets pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. Cossette wasted no time and buried the three-quarter-rink shot to seal the victory. The win moved the Jokers of doom 2-2-1 and stay in the playoff hunt. The Yellow Jackets fell to 0-5 with the loss. Up until this game the Jokers offense has struggled to consistently find the net, scoring a total of three goals in the previous four combines. It will be critical for the team to have their offense find their stride moving forward if they hope to contend in the playoffs.