Jokers steal win in season-opener!
The Jokers of Doom opened the Winter 2017 season yesterday against the speedy Springfield Chiefs with no bench and emergency goalie Nick Lachance. The Chiefs, on the other hand, had a fully stocked bench but opted to begin the game short handed to match the Jokers until their fifth player arrived late in the first period. Even with a full five-man team, the Jokers knew this wouldn’t be a high scoring affair. The plan was simple; keep it close and pick spots on offense to maybe sneak a shot or two.
As usual, the Jokers’ defense stepped up and limited the Chiefs’ chances while Lachance turned aside all 13 shots in the first period while the Jokers mustered a mere six. Nearly halfway into the second period, defenseman Chris Dickinson kept the zone and dished to winger Ken Herren in the high slot. Herren wound and fired a slapshot that appeared to go in the net but came off of the crossbar where Frank Melillo was waiting and cashed in the rebound for a 1-0 lead. Although this provided a bit of breathing room, the Chiefs continued to hustle and look to get something going against the tiring Jokers. In spite of their best efforts though, the Chiefs would come up empty as the second period came to an end.
In the final period, the focus was on on playing smart and killing the clock. The Chiefs wouldn’t give up though, and managed a game-high 15 shots on goal in the third period. With 1:38 to play in the game, the Chiefs finally found the net on a shot through traffic that was deflected in front. Before their celebration could even begin though, the officials convened and ruled that the Chiefs had a player in the crease and disallowed the goal. With renewed hope the Jokers controlled the ball and cleared the zone, using the winding clock wisely and came away with the 1-0 win. Lachance stopped all 40 shots he faced in earning his first win and shutout in his first game with the Jokers.