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87's head into Holiday break on a high note

By Anthony Di Paolo, 12/23/19, 3:30PM EST


Maynard, Crane provide late-game heroics as both teams end 2019 with victories

Both New Jersey 87's teams ended the calendar year of 2019 with victories, as the EHL team swept a two-game series against Team Maryland while the Premier squad ended their first half of the season on an eight-game winning streak.


EHL team sweeps Maryland

The previous weekend saw two frustrating losses for the 87's. Last Saturday the team gave up two goals in the final minute of a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Revolution. The following day they gave up two shorthanded goals while going 1-for-7 on the power play. Wednesday's contest against Team Maryland appeared to be heading towards a similar direction when they fell behind 3-1 with 8:13 left in the third period. 

New Jersey managed to storm back, however, with two goals in a span of two minutes and 32 seconds. Tim Lazouski tapped in a cross-crease feed from Matt Bielinski for his fourth goal of the year. Andrew Maynard followed up by tapping in a rebound for his team-leading 20th goal of the season. Nobody scored in overtime, and the 87's made quick work of the shootout. Maynard and Daniels Leja converted on their shots, while Ian Graiff made two saves to seal the 4-3 victory.

Off the heels of a comeback win, the 87's offense exploded for five goals in the first period of Thursday's game. Tim DeBord, Nick Swain, Dylan Gutierrez, Zach Tarantino and Daniels Leja all found the scoresheet in the opening period while the team went 3-for-3 on the power play. Maryland responded with three unanswered goals, but Dante Terramani and George Weiner scored in the third period to widen the gap once again. Graiff finished the afternoon with 30 saves, improving to a 5-0-0 record since joining the 87's.


Premier team extends streak to eight prior to break

Last weekend the 87's Premier team routed the Philadelphia Little Flyers by a score of 13-3. Ryan Crane recorded six points (3g, 3a) and was named an EHLP top performer of the week.

Their last two games proved to be more of a challenge, including a back-and-forth affair with the Philadelphia Revolution. Joe Minio and Anthony Tavares scored in the first 6:39 of the game to jump to a 2-0 lead. The Revolution responded with two goals in a span of 49 seconds to erase their deficit midway through the first. Ian Weiss, Anthony Mule and Ivan Borisov found the back of the net in the second period, but Philadelphia fought back with three unanswered of their own, including one late in the second and two more in the third period.

New Jersey caught a break in overtime when Philadelphia took a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. With a 4-on-3 power play, Crane took the puck to the top of the point and flung a wrister through traffic that found the back of the net, capping off a 6-5 win.

The following day the 87's hosted the New York Bridgemen for a Sunday evening matchup. Crane and Swartwout scored early in the first period as the team dominated in possession. Though the team generated numerous quality scoring chances, Bridgemen goaltender Colton Macaulay kept his team in the game by making numerous remarkable saves. Twice the Bridgemen managed to cut their deficit to one with goals from Jack Campbell and Bernard Vitale, but Logan Dineen scored late in the third period to seal a 4-2 victory for the 87's. Cameron Carmen made 25 saves on 27 shots to earn his 11th victory of the season.


Upcoming games


Saturday Jan 4: at New York Apple Core - 7:00 p.m.



Sunday Jan 5: vs. Philadelphia Little Flyers - 6:45 p.m.


Photo credit: Nina Weiss