Middletown, NJ – One of the pertinent quotes that often gets spoken after a team comes up just short of their goal the previous year is that “victory is sweeter after you have tasted defeat.” That quote certainly would apply to the New Jersey 87s of the Eastern Hockey League and Eastern Hockey League Premier for the upcoming season.
After coming up one game short of the League Finals at both the EHL and EHL Premier levels last year, as the EHL team lost in Game Three to the WBS Jr Knights and the EHLP team lost in Game Three to the Philadelphia Little Flyers, energy and optimism is about in Middletown this year as the 87 program is looking forward to getting started next week for Training Camp.
At the Eastern Hockey League level, next week’s Training Camp will be a pre-cursor to the opening of the EHL season which for the 87s comes on Saturday, September 14th in Brewster, New York vs. New York Applecore. Highlighted by the return of some key veterans and key leaders as well as some newcomers who will certainly add to the eclectic mix of players from last year’s team, hopes are high for this year’s group. Head Coach and General Manager Adam Houli commented, “ Every year you get excited for the start of camp, you have a nervous anxious feeling to get started and see how your veterans respond, recruits pan-out and just seeing it all together after a long few months. For us, its personal, we lost out on our ultimate goal, but we were very happy and pleased with our development, we had the pleasure of announcing 8 NCAA commitments and over 25 games played in the NAHL, however make no mistake about it, we know what we want and we know what it takes to get there.”
At the Eastern Hockey League Premier level, Training Camp will begin in earnest next week as the team seeks to advance to the League Finals for the first time in team history. The team will begin their season on Saturday, September 14th in Aston, Pennsylvania against the Philadelphia Little Flyers. The team will return a group of their core from last year, as well as adding some talented younger players who have a high ceiling for the upcoming season. This team will have the outstanding opportunity to attend the NAPHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota at the U18 level as well as the Yale Jamboree in late September in New Haven, Connecticut. Head Coach and General Manager Adam Houli commented, “We are very excited in our model that we have set up for the Premier team this year. Players will get the opportunity to have a U18 experience with the attention and scouting at our two Showcases as well as the Junior experience through our EHL Premier league play. It’s the best of both worlds for this group and gives this group the opportunity to develop into EHL players and beyond.”
The first home games for the 87s program are as follows, to be held at Middletown Ice World in Middletown, New Jersey. The EHL team’s first home game is Sunday, September 15th against the North Carolina Golden Bears at 4:30pm and the EHLP team’s first home game is also that Sunday at 7:30pm against the New York Bridgemen.
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