by Stephen Dafoe
The Morinville Jets played their home opener Friday night in the Morinville Leisure Centre’s Landrex arena to a larger-than-normal crowd. Unfortunately, the evening resulted in a 7-3 loss to the visiting Beverly Warriors.
The Jets, who lost top league scorers Brett Dubuc and Lee Gadoury this season due to ageing out, have 15 returning players to the roster.
“We will still have a very competitive team,” said Jets President Brent Melville in an interview earlier this week. “We have three players who played for the Sting Midget AA last year, and we picked up a few players from St. Albert Midget AA.”
Friday night’s home-opener saw both the Jets and Warriors scoreless after the first period.
After two, the Jets trailed the Warriors 4-0 and were down 5-0 before Josh Mcrae, assisted by Zach Mcrea and Dillon Watt, scored with less than half the period left.
The Warriors would answer that goal a minute later during a powerplay to restore the six-goal gap between the two teams.
Zach Mcrae earned the Jets second with 3:50 left in the game, assisted by Watt and Connor Tuppala.
Although the Warriors pocketed one with 54 seconds left to bring the game to 7-2 in their favour, Watt, assisted by Bryn Soetart, battled on, earning one with 35 seconds left in the game.
Despite Friday night’s loss, the Jets season opened with a game where the team battles until the end.
Jets’ backstop Luke Hall stopped 52 of the 59 shots sent his way in a game where the Jets were out-shot 59 to 29. Penalties were even across three periods with the Jets earning 12 minutes in the box to the Warriors 10 minutes.
The Jets have a three-game week this week. They hit the road Wednesday to take on the North Edmonton Red Wings, and stop in St. Albert Friday night to face the Merchants. The Jets return to the Landrex Arena in Morinville Sunday, Sept. 29 for a 7:30 game against the Stony Plain Flyers.