By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Tuesday night’s home-ice contest against the Spruce Grove Regals broke a three-game losing streak for the Morinville Jets. The 7-4 victory was also a reversal of fortunes from the 7-6 overtime loss the Jets suffered at the hands of the Regals Dec. 19. Tuesday night’s victory brings the Jets record to 13-11-5 on the season and places the Jets in fourth place in the Capital Junior Hockey League’s West Division.
Although the Jets took Tuesday night’s home game by a three-goal margin, it was a victory built entirely in the third period.
The Jets entered the opening frame as if they had just stepped away from a Christmas feast. Slow to move and slower to react, the club found itself chasing after the puck more than they found themselves leading with it. The period ended with nothing on the board for the Jets and the club trailing the Regals by one goal.
But while the Jets were sluggish during the first period, they encountered a different problem in the second. A rash of penalties left the Jets with a five-on-three disadvantage early in the frame, a situation the club was able to overcome largely through the efforts of backstop Foster Cote who stopped the majority of shots sent his way during Regals powerplay opportunities.
After achieving some success with their penalty kill, the Jets gained some momentum, bringing the contest to a 3-3 tie with 15.2 seconds left on the clock. Justin Proulx pocketed the Jets’ third off an assist from Russell Turner and Brayden Arcand.
What the Jets lacked in momentum and discipline in the first and second periods was corrected in the final frame. Building on their fourth goal two minutes into the period, the Jets added another three over a six-minute period to bring the tally to 7-3 in the Jets favour. A fourth contribution from the Regals with less than four minutes on the clock was to be Spruce Grove’s last.
The Jets have two games remaining this week – a road game against the 1-24-2 Stony Plain Flyers Friday night at 8:30 p.m. and a Sunday afternoon home game against the 17-11-0 Sherwood Park Knights. Game time for the Jets / Knights game is 2 p.m. at the Ray McDonald Sports Centre.