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Week in review: EHL and Premier teams head into showcase on a high note

By Anthony Di Paolo, 11/09/19, 8:45PM EST


Both teams head to Massachusetts for EHL showcase riding a winning streak

The New Jersey 87's have won a combined 12 straight wins between the EHL and Premier teams, as they get ready for their next showcase on Sunday. The EHL is riding a five-game winning streak while the Premier team won their last seven contests.


Veterans lead the way for EHL squad

Following the EHL All-Star showcase, the 87's EHL team faced the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers, Revolution, Little Flyers and the Connecticut RoughRiders and won each contest. New Jersey scored at least five goals in each of the four games, and the winning streak was highlighted by an 8-5 victory over the Connecticut RoughRiders on Wednesday afternoon. Going into the first intermission down 3-2, the 87's responded by scoring four goals in the second period, including two by Johnny Jackson and one by Michael Hertzberg and Andrew Maynard. Daniels Leja notched three assists, and has now recorded three points in each of his last four games.

Head coach Adam Houli talked about the EHL team's winning streak and credited his returning players with their recent success.

"Our veterans have done an excellent job of performing and making sure that they picked up the slack where we faltered. Our win streak now and how we're playing is directly attributed to our veterans, understanding this league and how good it is, how good you have to be day in and day out," Houli said. "This is veteran driven, we're going to ride those guys and hopefully the guys underneath them will pick it up so we can extend this even further."


Shootout win over Little Flyers highlights Premier team's seven-game win streak

Dating back to the last week of October, the 87's Premier Division team recorded three wins against the New Jersey Renegades and victories over the New York Bridgemen and Philadelphia Little Flyers. 

Last Sunday's contest against the Little Flyers, featuring the two top teams in the Mid-Atlantic Conference, was billed as the Hockey TV game of the week for the EHL Premier Division. The 87's jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals by Payton Jones and Dante Balsamo. Philadelphia responded with a goal late in the first period, and another one early in the second period. Anthony Mule notched his 10th goal of the year at 12:51 of the middle period to give New Jersey the lead, but the Little Flyers responded three minutes later to knot the score.

After a scoreless third period and overtime, the game went into a shootout. Ivan Borisov connected in the first round while Luke Headman scored for the Little Flyers in round three. Jeremy Connor and Tyler Cassidy traded saves for their respective teams until the seventh round, as Ryan Crane made a backhand-forehand move for the shootout winner, vaulting the 87's to a 4-3 victory over the Little Flyers. After the game, Houli noted the difference between his Premier team from their opening night loss to the Little Flyers and now.

"The biggest thing about the Premier team is watching our development from day one. We lost to the Little Flyers, where they dominated. The game last night was back and forth, and it was a really good hockey game at the Premier level," Houli said. "This is a fun group, they're young and inexperienced, but every game they're getting better, and building up our goal at getting to Providence. Watching the development every day and really seeing it through the on-ice product, it's exciting and fun for our staff to be a part of."  

Up next for both teams is the EHL showcase in Massachusetts. The EHL team will play in Haverhill where the Valley Jr. Warriors play, and the Premier team will play at the Lawrence Valley Forum and Chelmsford Forum.


Upcoming games:


Sunday Nov 10: vs. Walpole Express - 8:35 p.m.

Monday Nov 11: vs. Seahawks Hockey Club - 1:15 p.m.



Sunday Nov 10: vs. Boston Jr. Rangers - 12:10 p.m.

Sunday Nov 10: vs. New Hampshire Avalanche - 8:40 p.m.

Monday Nov 11: vs. Railers Jr. Hockey Club - 11:35 a.m.


Photo credit: Richard O'Donnell Photography