The New Jersey 87's Premier team extended its winning streak to seven games with an 8-2 win over the New Jersey Renegades and a 2-1 overtime victory against the Philadelphia Little Flyers, while the EHL squad suffered its first regulation loss of the season with a 5-2 defeat against New York Apple Core.
On Friday night, the Premier team started a back-to-back with a home contest against the New Jersey Renegades. Andrew Walsh opened the scoring just a minute and 38 seconds into the contest when he pounced on a loose puck outside the Renegades' crease, starting what went on to be an offensive blitz for the 87's. In the second period, Ben Peiffer scored a nifty goal by toe-dragging between two defenders and lifting a backhander high glove side. Chris Cicarello garnered the spotlight in the third period with a pair of goals. His second of the game was a shorthanded tally, deking past two defenders before lifting a shot over the blocker of Renegades goaltender Michael Zuppa. The 87's finished the game with 71 shots on goal and an 8-2 victory.
A few hours later, the team played a neutral site game at Ice Line Quad Rinks against the Philadelphia Little Flyers, going by the EHL showcase format with two 25-minute halves. Michael LoRicco opened the scoring at 10:01 off a setup from Ben Peiffer. Logan Downs responded for the Little Flyers at 16:53 by toe-dragging around a defender and snapping a quick shot to the blocker side. Neither team scored in the second half, sending the contest into overtime. Right off the faceoff, Damion Williams took the puck from his own end into the offensive zone, and wired a shot high blocker side for the game-winning goal.
After the win, head coach Adam Houli spoke about how the Premier team has improved over the course season. "Understanding, believing and playing within our structure," he said. "When we do, we are very good and I think that feeling helps them a lot. We have a big weekend ahead and I’m hopeful we are ready and poised to finish strong."
The EHL team only had one game this weekend, which was a home contest against New York Apple Core on Friday afternoon. Joe Lachase opened the scoring at 1:55 on a tap-in from point-blank range. New York would score three more goals between the first and second periods, taking a commanding 4-0 lead. The 87's finally got on the board at 17:30 of the second period when Joe Guercio forced a turnover and set up Michael Hertzberg for a shorthanded goal. New Jersey cut the deficit in half early in the third period when Bryan Van Ness deflected a point shot from Dylan Gutierrez. Apple Core regained momentum, however, when Michael Leva slammed home a one-timer at 6:49 of the third period. It capped off a 5-2 loss for the 87's, marking their first regulation defeat of the season.
"I hope we respond in the way that we should," Houli said about Friday's loss. "We should be relentless in our attack and leave no doubt after 60 minutes that we will have two points. It’s an interesting test for our squad to see how we can respond in a tough week before break. We had a great team skate today and I’m excited for the week ahead."
-Both overtime-winning goals for the Premier team this season have come from defensemen; Ben Peiffer against the Renegades on November 21 and Damion Williams against the Little Flyers on Saturday.
-Not only did the EHL team suffer its first regulation loss against Apple Core, it was their lowest offensive output of the season. The 5-2 loss ended a 24-game streak of scoring at least three goals.
Tuesday Dec 8: at Team Maryland - 12:00 p.m.
Thursday Dec 10: vs. New York Apple Core - 12:30 p.m.
Friday Dec 11: vs. Philadelphia Little Flyers - 12:00 p.m.
Saturday Dec 12: vs. Philadelphia Little Flyers - 2:30 p.m.
Sun Dec 13: vs. Philadelphia Little Flyers - 6:30 p.m.
Photo credit: Richard O'Donnell
Tag(s): In the News