By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – After carving out two victories earlier in the week, the Morinville Jets dropped a 10-2 decision to the visiting Sherwood Park Knights (18-11-0) Sunday afternoon, a contest that looked like it could be anybody’s game at the end of the first period.
Despite making more turnovers than Sarah Lee – a situation that allowed Sherwood Park to outshoot Morinville 13-9 – the Jets ended the first frame trailing the Knights 2-1.
However, the second period saw backstop Rob Carter giving up another three goals before Sherwood Park had their first powerplay advantage of the game. That advantage, obtained on an elbow call with just over three minutes left in the second period, afforded Sherwood Park their sixth goal of the game, and left the Jets trailing by four.
With the contest sitting at 6-2 heading into the third, the Jets returned to the ice with increased pressure but lacking the drive to ease it. Although the Jets kept Sherwood Park off the board for the first half of the frame, the Knights whittled the club’s defences down in the second half, pocketing another four goals to give them a 10-2 victory.
Assistant Coach Floyd Murrin said Sunday’s drubbing was a case of the Jets not coming to the rink prepared to play hockey, a disappointment in light of the club’s successes earlier in the week.
“The team didn’t come to compete,” Murrin said. “We had two great games this past week against Spruce Grove and then we went out to Stony and played Stony Plain. Stony’s now got a full team again and they played well. We played exceptionally well.”
In those contests the Jets defeated the 16-10-2 Spruce Grove Regals 7-4 and shut out the 1-26-2 Stony Plain Flyers 3-0.
“Today was just one of those days where there was no compete in them,” Murrin said of Sunday’s home game. “There was no systems in them at all. They broke down in the defensive zone. Lots of turnovers, and that was one of the things we tried to discuss between periods. We were throwing it up the middle instead of using the boards.”
However, Murrin was quick to point out he felt Sunday’s loss was not a matter of overconfidence for the back-to-back wins the Jets achieved during the week.
“It might have been a combination of things,” he said, adding he felt there might have been a bit of fatigue in the mix.
With seven games left in the Capital Junior Hockey League regular season, the Jets need to earn some points. Murrin said Monday night’s practice will get the Jets back working on systems, mixed with a lot of conditioning.
The Jets play two games this week, travelling to Edmonton to face the Royals Wednesday night, then returning to home ice Sunday afternoon to take on the Mustangs. Game time for Sunday’s home-ice contest is 2 p.m. at the Ray McDonald sports Centre.