The New Jersey 87's continue to dominate the Eastern Hockey League at both levels, as the EHL team defeated the RoughRiders and Little Flyers with 10-0 and 5-2 scores respectively, while the Premier team swept the Little Flyers in a home-and-home this weekend.
Last Wednesday the 87's EHL team hosted the Connecticut RoughRiders, the same team that handed New Jersey its only loss of the season thus far. This time around, the 87's wasted no time as Nick Swain opened the scoring just 1:05 into the first period. He went on to score two more goals for the hat trick while adding two assists, as Kei Yasuda (1g, 4a) matched him with a five-point performance. Jeremy Connor stopped all 23 shots to record his first shutout in the EHL, and the team's 10-0 victory was the highest offensive output since their season opener, a 9-1 win over the RoughRiders.
Two days later, the 87's traveled to IceWorks Skating Complex to face the Philadelphia Little Flyers. Matt Bielinski struck first with a power-play goal at 3:31 of the first period, though Philadelphia responded with a goal five minutes later and scored again at 3:02 into the second period. New Jersey's rookies helped regain the lead, as Everst Schneider shoveled a backhander over the shoulder of Flyers goalie Ryan Goodliffe for a power-play goal, followed by a goal from Ben Gibbons on a 2-on-1 rush. In the third period, New Jersey extended its lead with a power-play goal from Dante Terramani and an empty netter from Nick Swain to seal the 5-2 victory. Matt Sayles made 22 saves to secure the win. 87's head coach Adam Houli credited his rookie players for turning the game around in the win over Philadelphia.
"It's our depth, it allows us to play in games and it allows us to finish games. When our veteran guys are struggling or tired, our young group can step in and play," Houli said. "Look at the line of Ben Gibbons-Everest Schneider-Jason Atkinson, they were really good (against the Little Flyers), they created a buzz and the team was able to take it from there."
For the second straight week, the 87's Premier team played a home-and-home against the Little Flyers while starting with a road game on Saturday. New Jersey fell behind 2-0 in the first period and gave up a third goal before the end of the second period, but the team found its groove in the third. Luke Satkowski scored on a shot off the faceoff to get his team on the board at 4:44. The deficit was cut to one as Dominick Migliorato took a slapshot that ricocheted off the stick of Patrick DeMarinis and into the net at 10:09.
The Little Flyers responded 24 seconds later to make it 4-2, but the 87's clawed their way back in it as Luke Satkowski tipped in his second goal of the game at 11:57. Just 12 seconds later, Andrew Walsh tipped a shot from the point that got by Flyers goalie Ronan Marley and evened the score. It was also the third straight goal off a deflection for the 87's. Walsh scored again and gave New Jersey its first lead at 17:44 when he threw a pass towards the Flyers' crease, as the puck banked off Marley's stick and into the net. Tyler Roesel made 20 saves as New Jersey managed to hang on for the 5-4 win.
Returning to Jersey Shore Arena the following day, New Jersey continued its momentum with another solid performance all around. Patrick DeMarinis scored two goals, including a great individual effort by toe-dragging around a defensemen and going to the backhand on a breakaway. Luke Satkowski, Hugh McGuigan and Andrew Walsh also found the back of the net while Matt Corrella made 25 saves in the 5-1 victory. Houli spoke about the Premier team's resilience in their comeback win on Saturday.
"Those games can be so volatile and swing on any play. As much as we have veterans on the Premier team, they're still young and still have to understand that you have to show up every day, and this weekend was a perfect example of that," Houli said. "We were down 3-0, and it only took us a couple of shifts to get going and then the bounces started going our way."
-The Premier team has outscored opponents 25-9 in the third period this season. In their two games this weekend, the 87's outscored the Little Flyers 8-1 in the third period.
-Kei Yasuda was named the EHL forward of the week after recording seven points (1g, 6a) over two games this week. He joins Nick Swain and Jon Kopack as 87 players given the weekly honor.
Wednesday Nov 11: at Team Maryland - 12:15 p.m.
Thursday Nov 12: vs. Connecticut RoughRiders - 1:00 p.m.
Sunday Nov 15: Doubleheader vs. Connecticut Chiefs - 2:10 and 6:45 p.m.
Photo Credit: Tom Smith
Tag(s): In the News