The New Jersey 87’s EHL team arrived at the Newington, CT showcase with a five-game winning streak, and managed to keep it going with victories over the Valley Jr. Warriors and East Coast Wizards.
In Wednesday’s matchup against the Jr. Warriors, the 87’s came out of the gate strong with a couple of quality scoring chances, but found themselves down 1-0 just 3:40 into the first half. New Jersey kept up the pressure, and finally broke through when Brad Heuer’s shot went off Tanner Rusnak’s blocker and trickled over the goal line. Five minutes later, Tim DeBord led a shorthanded rush and wired a perfect pass to the far post, giving Dante Terramani an easy tap-in goal to take a 2-1 lead. The Jr. Warriors responded with a goal at 21:02, and both teams went into the half tied at two.
The Jr. Warriors ramped up the pressure in the second half, but the 87’s managed to score the only goal in the second half. While shorthanded, Terramani dropped a pass to Nick Swain, who fired a laser shot high-glove side for his second of the season. Tanner Beals finished the day with 23 saves as New Jersey hung on for a 3-2 win.
“I didn’t think we quite executed what we needed to do, a credit to the Jr. Warriors who made some adjustments in the second period that stymied our offense a little bit, but the biggest thing is that we found a way to win. That’s a positive for us, I thought the guys worked hard,” said 87’s head coach Adam Houli. “When you make a morning trip to a game it’s never easy, but we responded well in that first game and colleges were interested in our players, and that’s what (the showcase) is all about.”
In a quick turnaround, the 87’s were right back on the ice at 8 a.m. the following day. The early start time did not seem to affect the players that much, as Andrew Maynard scored 56 seconds in. Trevor Cear whipped a stretch pass from his own end to Maynard, who had just hopped onto the ice from a line change, and went to the backhand for his team-leading 19th goal of the season. The Wizards spent the rest of the half looking for a response by outshooting the 87’s 22-11, but starting goaltender Ian Graiff was up to the task and kept them off the board.
New Jersey only conceded six shots in the second half, and Trevor Cear added an insurance goal on the power play when he deflected Jack Lane’s shot from the point. The alternate captain tallied his second goal and 20th point of the season. The 87’s cruised to a 2-0 victory while Graiff earned his third shutout in as many starts with the team.
“I thought he was great. He made the saves he needed to make, made a couple of big stops early and kept us ahead. The second period we locked it down for him a little bit, but he still made some big saves, especially late when they pulled the goalie,” Houli said of Graiff.
Saturday Dec 14: at Philadelphia Revolution – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday Dec 15: vs. Philadelphia Little Flyers – 3:15 p.m.
Friday Dec 13: at New Jersey Renegades – 8:30 p.m.
Sunday Dec 15: vs. Philadelphia Little Flyers – 3:00 p.m.
Tag(s): In the News