87's look to regroup after two losses to the Lumberjacks
The New Jersey 87's will look to bounce back after dropping two games to the Vermont Lumberjacks this weekend, including a 4-2 defeat on Saturday and a 4-3 loss in overtime on Sunday.
It is the first pair of losses in the 87's short franchise history, who now sport a 3-1-1 record and is third in the Southern Conference of the Eastern Hockey League's Premier Division.
On Saturday, the Lumberjacks scored late in the first period and tacked on another early in the second to jump to a 2-0 lead. Josh Rosenbaum scored his fifth goal of the season to cut the deficit in half, but the Lumberjacks responded minutes later to regain a two-goal lead.
In the third period, Pierce Wickenden scored his first goal as an 87 to cut down the deficit again, but the comeback effort fell short while Vermont scored a fourth goal with seven seconds left, leading to the 4-2 final score. Jake Lakatos stopped 30 out of 34 shots in the losing effort.
Sunday featured a much better start for the 87's as they jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first period, with goals from Kyle DePalma, Jack Lane and Jake Ondrejko; the last two coming just 32 seconds apart.
The lead didn't last long, as the Lumberjacks--true to their name--chipped away the three-goal deficit. Scoring twice in the second and once in the third, Vermont forced overtime, and a goal from Logan Discanio completed the two-game sweep. Lakatos made 35 saves on 39 shots in the overtime loss.
"We came out strong in the first, but we took our foot off the pedal and gave (the Lumberjacks) life in the second," said head coach Adam Houli. "We couldn't stop their momentum and it put us in a bad spot."
Houli said there were some positives that came out of the weekend. He mentioned the team's breakouts and 3-on-2's have an improved. In addition, forward Josh Rosenbaum now has five goals and two assists in the 87's first five games of the season.
"I thought we did a good job executing things and players understood where they needed to be. Now it's just a matter of putting it all together with a complete 60-minute effort," he said.
The 87's next game is on Saturday Sept. 30 as they face the Jersey Wildcats at the Aspen Ice Center in Randolph, NJ. Puck drop is at 7:15 p.m. and the game will be streamed on hockeytv.com