By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Sixteen games into a 38-game season, the Morinville Jets stand middle of the pack in the CJHL’s west division and middle of their own record at .500 hockey. And while that may be nothing to boast about for a team that is not lacking in talent but has had difficulty in reaping the harvest of its own bounty this season, Sunday afternoon’s 11-4 victory over the equally-matched Wetaskiwin Icemen showed fans a more disciplined Jets team than has been seen for much of this season.
Although the Jets racked up 24 minutes in penalties and one game misconduct Sunday afternoon, their willingness to skate away from confrontation opened up a number of scoring chances for the club.
But even defensively, the Jets put up a better game than they have in recent outings. The team kept the Icemen off the board for the first 30 minutes of game play, building on a 4-0 lead at the end of the first to a 6-0 lead before Wetaskiwin lit its lamp at 9:38 in the middle frame. Although the Jets allowed the Icemen to get two past them in the final frame, they picked up four of their own in the third to give them an 11-4 victory.
Assistant Coach Floyd Muerin said discipline was a contributing factor to Sunday’s win.
“It’s always a major part with our team for some reason,” he said. “It’s things that we’ve been working on – trying to keep our penalty minutes down and trying to keep a disciplined bench.”
Muerin said Sunday’s game was a stark contrast to Friday night’s 6-5 overtime loss to the Edmonton Mustangs.
In that contest, a rash of penalties in the closing minutes of the third period whittled away at the Jets’ 5-3 lead over the Mustangs, ending in a tied game at the end of regulation play. The Mustangs picked up their sixth at 4:44 on a powerplay advantage.
The Jets play two games this weekend. The club take to the road to faceoff against the 11-5-0 Beaumont Chiefs Nov. 12 and return to the Ray McDonald Sports Centre Nov. 14 to take on the 1-13-1 Stony Plain Flyers. Game time for Sunday’s home-ice contest is 2 p.m.