The New Jersey 87's EHL and Premier teams went a combined 5-0-0 in their first week back from the holiday break, including a pair of victories against New York Apple Core and the Philadelphia Little Flyers. The EHL team won three of those games as they prepare for their final showcase of the season in Exeter, N.H., while the Premier team takes sole possession of first place.
EHL team goes 3-0-0 before showcase
The 87's EHL team started off the new decade in Brewster, N.Y. to face Apple Core. After Michael Hertzberg opened the scoring late in the first period, Apple Core responded early in the middle period with two unanswered goals. Dante Terramani scored twice in a span of 56 seconds to regain the lead, and Zach Tarantino made it 4-2 at the midway point of the second period.
Apple Core managed to erase the deficit, however, including the game-tying goal by Otto Thiele with 35 seconds left in regulation. Despite giving up the lead, the 87's would ultimately prevail as Terramani completed the hat trick with an overtime-winning goal.
Four days later, the 87's had a rematch against the Apple Core but on home ice. New Jersey broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of goals by Tim DeBord. Zach Tarantino added two goals in the third period, and defenseman Jack Oleson scored in his debut with the team, capping off a commanding 6-1 victory.
"Last year we started off the break 0-2, and this year we were able to go 2-0. We'll look at it as a positive there, we're still trying to find our true identity as a group and every game we get a chance to see where we're at," said head coach Adam Houli. "I was happy with the four points as we try to lock in our playoff position, but I'm excited to keep going in the second half of the season with these guys."
On Friday the 87's traveled to Philadelphia to face the Jr. Flyers. It only took two minutes and 59 seconds for Francis Kienzle to open the scoring, and the team never looked back as they cruised to a 6-0 victory. Five different players recorded two points, and Ian Graiff made 23 saves for his fourth shutout in only his sixth start since joining the 87's.
Oleson and Yasuda join the team
Two new players joined the 87's EHL team, including defenseman Jackson Oleson and forward Kei Yasuda. Oleson, a 19-year-old from Stateline, Nevada, played eight games in the North American Hockey League under the Minnesota Wilderness and Maryland Black Bears. Before coming to New Jersey, Oleson played for the Waywayseecappo Wolverines of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
"(Oleson) moves the puck well, he's gritty in the d-zone, he can bury the puck like he did today. I think he's been a welcome addition to the team and makes us stronger, and I think that will carry on to the rest of our guys.
Yasuda is a 19-year-old forward from Japan and played for the P.A.L. Junior Islanders of the NCDC. Last year he played for the Connecticut Chiefs and recorded 37 points (19g, 18a) in 32 games. He made his 87's debut in the team's 6-0 win over the Jr. Flyers.
Premier team passes Little Flyers for first place
The Premier team started off the second half of their season with a pair of home games against the Philadelphia Little Flyers. Last Sunday, Anthony Tavares scored twice while Christian Cabal added a power-play goal in a 3-1 victory. The win put the 87's even with the Flyers in points (40) while having three games in hand.
"We seem to battle each other quite a bit, we've done well in our last four games against them, but every game is a toss up," Houli said of the Premier team. "Every game you have to bring your A-game and it's going to go to the team playing better. The Premier group has done a great job, riding a nine-game win streak."
Six days later, both teams faced off again in Middletown Sports Complex. Philadelphia dominated play for most of the first period and broke through on a shorthanded goal by Shane Green. The 87's stormed back with three goals in the second period from Ivan Borisov, Luke Satkowski and Hugh McGuigan. Borisov and Tom Swartwout tacked on two more goals early in the third period, and team staved off a late comeback effort by the Little Flyers in a 5-4 win. It was the team's 10th consecutive win as they improve to 20-3-2 on the season.
EHL (Exeter, N.H. Showcase)
Sunday Jan 12: vs. Railers Jr. Hockey Club - 8:20 p.m.
Sunday Jan 13 vs. Vermont Lumberjacks - 2:55 p.m.
Sunday Jan 12 vs. Philadelphia Revolution - 6:45 p.m.
Photo credit: Nina Weiss
Tag(s): In the News