by Stephen Dafoe
After completing the preseason with a win and two ties, the Morinville Junior B Jets finished the opening weekend of the 2014-2015 Capital Junior Hockey League season with a win and a loss.
The Jets got the season underway Friday night on the road with a 4-3 victory over the stony Plain Flyers. After ending the first period with both sides scoreless, Stony Plain moved ahead to end the middle frame leading the Jets 3-2. But an unassisted goal by Craig Hills late in the third period brought the Jets to a 3-3 tie with the Flyers. With 1:09 left in the contest Branden Domoslai, assisted by Lee Gadoury and Brandon Paul, gave the Jets their first win of the season.
Sunday night saw the Jets hit the ice for their home opener against the visiting St. Albert Merchants, a club that lost the championship last year by one goal in the fifth game of a best of five series.
Both the Jets and Merchants scored within the first 22 seconds of the game Sunday night. But the Merchants dominated the puck for much of the rest of the period, out shooting the Jets 15-8 and leaving Morinville trailing 3-1 on the board by the end of the frame. Tyler Hagel opened scoring for the Jets.
The Jets stepped up their scoring chances in the middle frame to trail the merchants 23-22 in shots on goal, but with the exception of Boe Geslinger’s goal at 11:38, the club failed to capitalize on any of the other 14 scoring opportunities. The merchants by contrast picked up another three goals to bring the contest 6-2.
Trailing by four at the start of the final 20 minutes, the Jets picked up their final goal of the game when Lee Gadoury got an unassisted goal at 15:07. But that goal was answered twice in 15 seconds to pull the Merchants ahead 8-3 with 8:50 left in the game. The Merchants would add their ninth and final goal at 5:07.
The Jets head into this weekend’s games with a 1-1-0 record. The club travels to Spruce Grove for a Friday night game against the Regals and returns home Sunday night for their first matchup with the Fort Saskatchewan Hawks. Game time is 6:45 p.m. at the Ray McDonald Sports Center.