By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – The Morinville Jets gave the Stony Plain Flyers their 16th defeat of the season Sunday afternoon, handily beating the lightly-dressed team 8-1. The Flyers, who were defeated 18-1 by the St. Albert Merchants Friday night, brought only 11 skaters to the Ray McDonald Sports Centre, a small number to combat the Jets roster of 19.
The victory gave the Jets another two points and brought the club back to .500 hockey after their Friday night 7-3 defeat at the hands of the Beaumont Chiefs dropped them below the .500 line.
But while Friday night’s loss, the Jets’ eighth this season, was not the outcome the club had hoped for, fans and coaching staff believe it is one of the better games the Jets have played this season.
Head Coach Scott Rodda, who was out of town during the road contest, said the other coaching staff felt the game was a solid effort for the Jets. “We ran into a hot goalie, apparently,” Rodda said of Friday night’s road game, adding the Jets outshot the Chiefs by a margin of two to one. “From all accounts I hear they played a real solid game.”
In that contest, the Chiefs ended the first period leading the Jets 1-0 but widened the gap to 5-1 by the end of the middle frame. Although the Jets picked up another two in the third period, the Chiefs racked up the same tally to give them a 7-3 victory.
Sunday’s game was a different contest for the Jets. Facing a recently defeated and heavily depleted Stony Plain Flyers, the Jets had no problem leading the board 3-1 at the end of the first. As Beaumont had done to them Friday night, the Jets widened the gap in the middle frame to 8-1. However, that is where the board froze during the third period. Despite pounding Stony Plain’s net with two dozen shots, the Jets were unable to capitalize on any of their chances.
Rodda said he was pleased with his team’s effort to move the puck Sunday afternoon.
“We told the guys to go hard to the net, to move the puck a lot quicker than we have been,” Rodda said, acknowledging that Stony Plain’s depleted roster did not make for a particularly strong opponent. “Our guys were disciplined and stayed with the game plan which is to move the puck lots. We wanted to increase our movement today. The results were 78 shots.”