The 87's Premier team swept the Philadelphia Revolution in a best of three series and will move on to the Conference Final where they will face the Philadelphia Little Flyers. The EHL team, meanwhile, is coming off its bye week and will face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights in their Conference Final.
Swartwout scores five goals in Premier team's sweep
It was the second consecutive year the Premier team faced off against the Revolution in the first round of the playoffs. Instead of a winner-take-all game, however, it was a best of three series, and the Revolution had home-ice advantage. Game 1 took place on Friday, and Philadelphia jumped to a 1-0 lead late in the first period. The 87's responded in the second period with goals from Brad Heuer and Simon Fitzgerald, and the team never looked back.
New Jersey added three more goals in the first 10 minutes of the third period, coming off the sticks of Payton Jones, Joe Guercio and Tom Swartwout. Gusso and Coleman Peppelman responded with two goals for the Revolution in a span of 3:55, but Swartwout restored a three-goal lead at 17:39 of the third with his second goal of the game, sealing the 87's 6-3 victory.
The following night, Philadelphia once again jumped to a 1-0, this time on a goal from Matt Meli at 2:08 of the second period. Payton Jones and Tom Swartwout scored for the 87's, but a goal by Jared Wagenmann in between made it a 2-2 game heading into the third period.
The 87's started the final period with a five-minute power play when Tucker Hammer was given a major for checking from behind. Swartwout took advantage and scored his second goal of the night at 2:26. He completed the hat trick with nine minutes remaining in the game, and Matt Wong extended the lead with a tap-in at 14:46. The Revolution scored two more goals in the final three minutes, but it was too little, too late as the 87's clinched the series with a 5-4 win.
Up next, the 87's Premier team will face the Philadelphia Little Flyers in the Conference Final. New Jersey has a regular-season record of 2-3-1 against the Flyers, but the final two losses against them came without leading scorer Brad Heuer as well as Simon Fitzgerald. Games 1 and 2 will take place on Wednesday and Thursday night at the IceWorks Skating Complex in Philadelphia, and a Game 3 will take place in Middletown if necessary.
EHL team set to face the Knights
The 87's EHL team spent its bye week practicing and preparing for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, who defeated the New York Applecore in the first round. New Jersey has a 3-2 mark against the Knights in the regular season, though the 87's lost the final two matches. In their penultimate game of the regular season, Anthony Starzi scored four goals as the Knights rolled past the 87's in Middletown. Games 1 and 2 will take place on Thursday and Friday at Middletown Sports Complex.
Game 1 vs. WBS Knights: Thursday March 14 - 2:00 p.m.
Game 2 vs. WBS Knights: Friday March 15 - 8:15 p.m.
*Game 3 @ WBS Knights: Sunday March 17 - 5:00 p.m.
Game 1 @ Little Flyers: Wednesday March 13 - 7:45 p.m.
Game 2 @ Little Flyers: Thursday March 14 - 7:30 p.m.
*Game 3 vs. Little Flyers: Sunday March 17 - 8:00 p.m.
Photo Credit: Rich O'Donnell
Tag(s): In the News