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Premier team defeats Little Flyers in first game at Jersey Shore Arena

By Anthony Di Paolo, 11/03/20, 2:30PM EST


EHL team improves to 3-0-0 at home while Premier squad splits weekend doubleheader

The New Jersey 87's won two of its three games this weekend, as the EHL team defeated the Philadelphia Little Flyers on Friday while the Premier squad split a doubleheader with a 7-0 road loss and 4-1 home win against the Little Flyers.

On Friday afternoon, the 87's EHL team hosted the Philadelphia Little Flyers for their fourth head-to-head matchup this season. After a scoreless first period, Dante Gattone broke the ice with a one-timer from the low slot at 1:40 of the second period. New Jersey responded with two unanswered goals, including one from Matt Bielinski on a goalmouth scramble and Tim DeBord making a toe-drag before lifting a backhanded shot past Flyers' goaltender Jakub Kubik. 

Philadelphia came out strong in the third period as Tyler Marvil scored his first goal of the season at 1:38. However, the 87's responded with three more goals, all coming from rookies at the EHL level. Ben Gibbons fired a wrist shot glove side at 7:35, which stood as the game-winning goal. Everest Schneider scored from a similar angle to double the lead at 9:30, and Ty Carter sealed the deal with a point shot at 11:30. Jeremy Connor made 27 saves while the team improved to 10-0-1. Head coach Adam Houli spoke about his younger players stepping in the third period against Philadelphia.

"It’s beyond important that our younger players start to produce, it lengthens our lineup tremendously and allows us to see what the future might look like and that benefits everyone," Houli said. "Our depth is a very big thing for us, and it’s not easy, sometimes those guys miss two games in a row but they understand how our culture is and they know they will get their time. It’s impressive to see from our younger players."

Saturday night the Premier team traveled to IceWorks Skating Complex to start a home-and-home against the Little Flyers. Philadelphia pulled ahead about half-way into the first period with a 5-on-3 power play by Jack Ellis, and it marked the beginning of an offensive outpouring from the Little Flyers. They scored six more goals throughout the game for a decisive 7-0 victory while Trey Mattern earned a 24-save shutout. 

The following day, the 87's Premier team played its first true home game at Jersey Shore Arena, and responded to the blowout loss with a commanding performance. After a scoreless first period, Ivan Borisov and AJ Mule scored to put the 87's up by two. Nicholas Bouchard cut the deficit in the final minute of the second period, but New Jersey responded with two more goals in the third period, coming off the sticks of Brock Forrest and Robert Calice. New Jersey outshot Philadelphia by a margin of 43-30, and Matt Corella stopped 29 shots in the 87's 4-1 victory. After the game, Houli spoke about how big it was for the Premier team to rebound after Saturday's loss.

"Excited to play home with this group, and like I have said all year we are young and developing," he said. "We were not ready for Saturday's game and our practice week was just okay. We were able to bounce back at home and that felt good. We continue to learn every day how to play a full 60 minutes and do it the 87 way."


Additional Notes

-The Premier team avoided a three-game losing streak by winning on Sunday. That feat has only happened once since joining the league in 2017-18, taking place in the November Showcase last season.

-The EHL team has made the most of their home-ice advantage. In their first three games at Jersey Shore Arena, they have outscored opponents 17-6.


Upcoming games


Wednesday Nov 4: vs. Connecticut RoughRiders - 1:00 p.m.

Friday Nov 6: at Philadelphia Little Flyers - 11:00 a.m.



Saturday Nov 7: at Philadelphia Little Flyers - 5:00 p.m.

Sunday Nov 8: vs. Philadelphia Little Flyers - 12:30 p.m.


Photo Credit: Richard O'Donnell