Morinville Jets battling for CJHL playoff series

Fans packed the Ray McDonald Sports Centre Sunday night for game two of a best-of-three playoff series between the Morinville Jets and the Beverly Warriors. – Stephen Dafoe Panorama

by Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – The Jets finished the weekend with a win and a loss against the Beverly Warriors in a best-of-three, round one Capital Junior Hockey League playoff series. After coming from behind a 5-3 deficit Friday night to take the first game 7-6, the Jets fell 6-5 in OT in a knuckle-biter on home ice Sunday night.

Game one a nail biter

The Jets took to the ice at Londonderry Arena Friday night for game one of the best-of-three series, narrowly edging out the Warriors 7-6 due to some strong efforts in the final frame.

Veteran Nick Pratt provided the Jets with their only contribution against the Warriors three goals in the first period. Penalties remained light for both clubs in the first period. Morinville racked up four minutes in the box, two for slashing, and two for hooking.

Trailing Westlock 3-1 heading into the middle frame, Travis Geislinger picked up a pair of goals for himself and the club, including one on the power play. With the Warriors also pocketing a pair during the period, the Jets ended the second trailing the Warriors 5-3. Scores were not the only thing to rise during the frame; tensions rose as well. Jared Stymiest picked up an instigating, fighting and misconduct for a brewhaha.

The final frame proved lighter on penalties, heavier on goals, a mathematical equation that saved the day for the Jets and gave them game one of the series. The Jets began a four-goal road trip with an unassisted goal from Branden Domoslai at 16:18 to bring the contest within one of a tie. Geislinger followed up with another pair at 13:27 and 7:13 to push the Jets to lead 6-5. With 4:37 left in the series opener, Keagan Arcand pocketed one to give the club a two-goal lead. The Warriors only goal of the period came with 3:02 left on the clock.

Home game packs the mac

Sunday night’s home-ice rematch was played to capacity crowds at the Ray McDonald Sports Centre. Both Jets and Warriors fans filled the bleachers for a game that had fans from both sides on the edge of their seats.

The Jets ended the first period trailing the Warriors 1-0 and found themselves trailing 2-0 36 seconds into the middle frame. But Travis Geislinger opened scoring for the Jets with 6:04 left in the period after a good 10 minutes of strong offensive play from the Jets. The goal was not the Jet’s only one of the period. Geislinger bookended a pair of goals from the Warriors with another of his own, giving the Jets a 4-2 deficit to end the second.

As they did Friday night, the Jets hit the third period hard. Keegan Arcand pocketed on the power play at 14:54, closing the deficit to 4-3. Two minutes later the Warriors answered the goal with one of their own, but the Craig Hills rocketed one in for the Jets at 9:19 to bring the Jets within one goal of a tie. Arcand capitalized on that opportunity with 4:46 left on the clock to earn his second goal of the game.

Though the Jets battle back to drive the game to overtime, the Warriors earned their sixth with 8:43 left in overtime.

Game three will be played Wednesday night at 8 p.m. at the Londonderry Arena in Edmonton.