By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Sunday night’s road loss to the Beverley Warriors should have been no great disappointment to the Morinville Jets. The Warriors are currently the top-ranked team in the Capital Junior Hockey League with a 15-2-2 record on the season and averaging just above five goals per game. There is seldom shame in losing to a tough team.
But the degree to which the Jets were defeated (7-1) in their Nov. 21 road game should be cause for alarm both amongst the players and the coaching staff.
The Sunday night road game marked the midway point in the CJHL season and the loss pushed the Jets further towards the West Division basement. The only thing currently preventing the Jets from hitting divisional rock bottom is the fact that the Stony Plain Flyers have taken up permanent residence threw with a 1-18-1 record.
As has been the case in many Jet games this year, a lack of discipline and determination seems to have frittered away the club’s chances of carrying momentum through 60 minutes of hockey.
The first period ended with a 1-1 tie and both clubs evenly matched in penalty box time with two minutes a piece. The Jets only goal of the period (and the game) came from Brayden Arcand off an assist from Tyler Nault.
But second period game play saw the Warriors pocket four goals, three of which were on the powerplay.
The Jets’ Russell Turner got into a dust up with Robert Palmer of the Warriors early in the final frame, a fracas that earned both players five for fighting and a game misconduct.
The Jets will need to rein in the fists and the penalty minutes heading into the second half of the season if they are going to start winning some games so they can rise above .500 hockey for more than a game or two.
Of the club’s remaining 19 contests this season, 12 are against teams currently sitting in the upper half of their divisional standings.
The Jets have an opportunity to redeem themselves Friday night at the Ray McDonald Sports Centre when they take on the North Edmonton Red Wings for the third time this season. The two previous outings ended in a 6-5 and 12-1 victory for the Wings.
Game time is 8 p.m. and follows the Annual Jets Alumni Game. The Alumni hit the ice at 5:45 p.m.