Leo Ukhmylov showed no signs of slowing down after being named an EHLP star of the week, scoring twice in a 5-3 win over the Jersey Wildcats on Wednesday night in MIddletown.
The Russian defenseman now has five goals in as many games, including the game-winner last night on a scorching one-timer that was labeled for the top corner of the net.
"He's starting to play with a lot of confidence," 87's head coach Adam Houli said of Ukhmylov. "That's what you need in order to make it to the next level."
The 87's jumped to a 2-0 lead early in game with goals from Austin Bell and Ukhmylov, but the Wildcats came back with three unanswered goals. Aidan Wright scored on the power play late in the first, and Shawn Meneghin scored twice in the second period to give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead.
Bell said the team was able to keep its composure after the Wildcats' third goal, as the 87's spent the latter half of the second period pushing for the tying goal.
"It was a little quiet at first, but we knew we were still in the game and we just kept pushing and working hard," Bell said.
The hard work paid off as Antonio Briggs-Blake was able to sneak the puck past Wildcats goalie John Profaci on the near post, tying the score at three with eight minutes remaining in the second period.
"Pierce (Wickenden) worked hard to get the puck down low, and he just put the puck in front so I could tap it in for the goal," Briggs-Blake said.
Before the period ended, the 87's went on the power play, where Ukhmylov notched his second goal of the night to give the team a 4-3 lead.
The 87's controlled much of the tempo in the third period with the exception of a five-on-three power play for the Wildcats. New Jersey was able to kill off the penalty with a little help from goaltender Tristen Gillispie, who made two great saves at the end of the kill. Profaci was eventually pulled for the extra attacker, but Michael Termine scored on the empty net to give the 87's a 5-3 lead.
Gillispie made 16 saves to earn his team-high fifth win of the season. The 87's will now be tested with a pair of road games this weekend with a game against the New Jersey Renegades on Saturday, followed by a matchup against the Philadelphia Little Flyers on Sunday.
"Any time you play the Renegades, it's a rivalry game. For us, it's also the New Jersey Junior Cup, so it's got cup points on the line," Houli said. "For us, we're taking it as a playoff matchup where we want to win two games and move on."
Leo Ukhmylov's overtime winner was the highlight of the New Jersey 87's appearance in the EHLP Boston Showcase, as they defeated the Valley Jr. Warriors 4-3 on Sunday before dropping their second game against the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers 3-1 on Monday.
The 1-1 showing in Boston gives the team a current record of 11-5-1. Coming off a three-game losing streak, the 87's have also won two of their last three games.
In Sunday's matchup against the Valley Jr. Warriors, Tim Lazouski opened the scoring just 1:24 into the first half. The Warriors bounced back late in the half with two goals of their own and took the lead heading into the intermission.
Six and a half minutes into the second half, Ukhmylov scored his first of the game and evened the score at two. Sean Carver gave the 87's a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal with 2:40 remaining in the game.
It appeared the 87's would take the game in regulation, but Nick Merryman scored his second goal of the game with just 36 seconds remaining. His wraparound goal would force overtime.
Each team had a few chances in the three-on-three overtime, Ukhmylov was racing down the right side of the ice on a two-on-one and ripped a shot five-hole to win the game. It was his second goal of the night while giving him three goals in as many games with the 87's. Alex Neverve made 32 saves on 35 shots in the overtime victory.
The following morning, the 87's jumped to a 1-0 lead on the Jr. Flyers five minutes into the game, with a goal from Kyle DePalma for his 10th of the season.
It was the only offense New Jersey could muster, as the Jr. Flyers scored twice in the first half and tacked on one more early in the second half, cruising to a 3-1 victory.
The 87's will play again on Wednesday night, as they face the Jersey Wildcats with an 8 p.m. puck drop. All of the action will be streamed on hockeytv.com.
Jon Szynalski was traded from the New Jersey Renegades in exchange for 87's goaltender Jake Lakatos.
On Tuesday night, Szynalski would end up shutting out is former team as the 87's defeated the Renegades 2-0.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak, as the 87's dropped two straight to the Boston Jr. Rangers last weekend in Massachusetts, 3-2 and 7-3 respectively.
It's also the second shutout in 87's history while the win improves the team's record to 10-4-1.
The 1st and 2nd periods were scoreless as Szynalski and Lakatos traded saves throughout the first 40 minutes.
Just a minute and 31 seconds into the 3rd period, the 87's broke through with a goal from Antonio Briggs-Blake. The puck was chipped in from the red line and took a bounce off the end boards, sliding to the front of the net. Briggs-Blake found the puck at the doorstep and slammed it past Lakatos for his second goal of the season while putting the 87's up 1-0.
The 87's scored again on the power play at 8:21. Leo Uhkmylov took the puck at the top of the left circle and fired a wrist shot that beat Lakatos. Kyle DePalma was in front of the net and may have gotten a piece of the shot as he was credited for the goal, making it his 10th of the season. The goal also gives him four points in his last three games.The score remained the same for the final eight minutes as the team secured it's 10th win of the season.
Now the team will prepare for its second showcase as they return to Boston. On Sunday, they'll face the Valley Jr. Warriors, followed by a game against the Boston Jr. Rangers on Monday. All of the action will be streamed on hockeytv.com.
(We got the score right this time, we promise.)