By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – The Jets ended the 2011 calendar year Dec. 18 with a 3-2 loss against the St. Albert Merchants. The road loss follows on the heels of a 6-2 victory over the visiting Strathcona Bruins Dec. 16. The two points earned over the final hockey weekend of the year helped keep the Jets in the Capital Junior Hockey League’s West Division top slot.
With a 17-8-2 record, the Jets have done well this season, winning two thirds of their games and earning a fourth spot in the league overall, a spot they are tied with Wetaskiwin for.
The club is averaging four goals for per game and giving up just under three per game, a situation that makes many of the club’s wins and losses by a close margin. With 909 minutes in 2011, the club is the sixth highest penalized team in the league of 14.
January sees the Jets playing seven of their remaining 12 games. Four of those games are against clubs who ended 2011 lower in the standings than the Jets. While that is no guarantee the Jets will emerge victorious, it does give the club a slight advantage they’ll need to capitalize on if they are to hold top spot in the West Division.
As of Dec. 18, only two points stand between the Jets and the Beverly Warriors, and both the Regals and Merchants are nipping at the Jets heels four points away from the Jets’ 36 points.
The Jets next take to the ice Jan. 6 for a road game in Leduc. The Jets return home to host the 2011-2012 CJHL ALL star Game Jan. 7, and take on the Edmonton Royals Jan. 10 in a Tuesday home game. Time for the home ice contest is 8:30 p.m. at the Ray McDonald Sports Centre.