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Offense struggles as 87's get swept in showcase

By Anthony Di Paolo, 01/17/19, 10:00PM EST


EHL team shut out in two straight, Premier team loses 7-4 to Revolution

The New Jersey 87's went a combined 0-3 between the EHL and Premier teams last weekend, including two shutouts and a 7-4 loss to the Philadelphia Revolution.


EHL team shut out in both showcase games

The 87's had one of their more forgettable showcase appearances in Walpole, Massachusetts. It was the first time in the 87's two-year history that they were shut out in consecutive games. On Sunday, New Jersey fell to the Valley Jr. Warriors by a score of 2-0. John Lockheed scored at 12:37 of the first half, and Matthew Castillo added an insurance marker at 19:40 of the second half. Throughout the game, the 87's went 0-for-9 on the power play, including a five-minute major assessed to the Jr. Warriors in the final 4:38 of the game. Jarret Bovarnick finished the game with a 31-save shutout.

On Monday, the 87's went up against the first-place New Hampshire Avalanche and fell behind quickly. Two power-play goals were scored in the opening 2:31 of the game, and the Avs would go on to score two more goals before the end of the half. Nathan Pickett cruised to a 21-save shutout as the 87's fell to a 23-9-0 record.

Head coach Adam Houli expressed his concern for the EHL team, who has now lost four of its last five games and have been shut out in three of its last four.

"The new year has not been kind to us. We've had two goals in the games that we played, save for a five-goal outburst against the New York Apple Core. You take away that game and we only have two goals in 180 minutes of play," Houli said. "It's not good for us right now, but it's something we have to work on and can't dwell on it. 

Houli also talked about Friday's game against the Philadelphia Little Flyers, a team with a league-best 30-2-1 record and a staggering 177 goals scored.

"They do a lot of good things that we have to be ready for. I think if we can play our game, can skate and bury our chances we'll be okay," he said.


Premier team falls to Revolution, 7-4

The 87's Premier team played its third consecutive game against the Philadelphia Revolution on Saturday, and fell to a 3-0 deficit in the first period. The Revolution then tacked on three more goals in the second to give themselves a 6-0 lead. Just like the previous week, the 87's answered back with a couple of goals in a comeback effort, as Tom Swartwout and Ryan Clear notched power-play goals in the final 13 minutes of the second period. Joe Guercio cut the deficit in half at 4:30 of the third period, and Swartwout notched a shorthanded goal at 7:12 for his second of the game. The Revolution regained its three-goal lead by scoring with 4:58 remaining, and would cruise to a 7-4 win.

Houli spoke about the Premier team, as they are currently 2-3-0 in the midst of a nine-game stretch away from Middletown Sports Complex.

"It's the inability to put together a solid 60 minutes right now. We have some highs, have some lows and we're not doing a good job of balancing that," he said. 


Look ahead


Friday Jan 18: vs. Philadelphia Little Flyers - 12:15 p.m.

Sunday Jan 20: @ North Carolina Golden Bears - 7:45 p.m.

Monday Jan 21: @ North Carolina Golden Bears - 12:00 p.m.


EHLP (Philadelphia Showcase):

Saturday Jan 19: vs. Valley Jr. Warriors - 3:00 p.m.

Sunday Jan 20: vs. Walpole Express - 1:30 p.m.


Photo Credit: @Circlingthwagon