By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – It was a big night for the Morinville Jets Wednesday evening. Their 5-1 win over the visiting Edmonton Mustangs gave the Jets their third consecutive win in the best-of-five series and round two of CJHL playoffs.
“I wouldn’t have predicted that necessarily,” said Jets Head Coach Scott Rodda of his team’s trilogy of back-to-back victories. “I do think we were the better club, but we were a bit worrier. We’ve had some close games with those guys all year. I think all four of them were one-goal game, three of them in overtime. They’re a big, tough team to play against, but our guys persevered, stayed out of the box, which helps a lot.”
While Rodda was pleased with the Jets’ overall performance during the series, there were aspects of game play that were not where they should have been. “Our power play was absolutely dismal,” Rodda said. “But we persevered and worked hard and we deserved it.”
Wednesday night’s victory didn’t start out looking like a victory in the making. The Jets and Mustangs ended the opening frame scoreless; however, the Mustangs out-chanced the Jets 17-8. Period two saw the Jets leading 3-1 and getting more shots on the Mustang’s net. The final frame saw the Jets pick up another two for their tally while backstop Mike Saunders holding the Mustangs off.
Within minutes of Wednesday night’s game, the club learned their best-of-seven round three series opponent will be the Edmonton Royals.
“We’ve had some success against them this year right now,” Rodda said. “They just beat the number one team in the league. They’re a good hockey club. Their power play is absolutely rolling, so we’re going to have to work on that this week. We’ll kill their power play and get ours going.”
The Royals defeated the Sherwood Park Knights Wednesday night, taking their series in four games.
The coach said the Jets will take a break Friday and hit the ice hard Sunday and Monday for back-to-back practices.
The Jets enter game one of round three next Wednesday night at 8:30 in Morinville. Game two will be played in Edmonton on the Friday. Game three will return to the Ray McDonald Sports Centre Mar. 11.