Jokers Fall, 6-5
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.