In the last week of October, the Huntsmen saw plenty of action. The EHL Team was on the road to take on the New Jersey Bears and then back on home ice against Philadelphia Hockey Club. They began November with a road matchup vs Team Maryland. The Premier Team hosted the New Jersey 87s.
EHL vs Bears
This was the first meeting of the year between the division rivals. The Bears lead the South Division. It was a back-and-forth contest, but the Bears scored two goals in less than three minutes near the end of the 1st period taking a 2-0 lead. The Bears carried the late 1st period momentum with them as New Jersey added to their lead :90 into the 2nd period for the 3-0 lead. Pennsylvania did have chances on the power play but no success. The 3rd period barely saw even strength hockey as penalties stacked up on both teams. The Huntsmen had five powerplays throughout the game, but the offense couldn’t get anything rolling, and the Bears won 3-0.
EHL vs Philadelphia Hockey Club
It was meeting number four with PHC. The Huntsmen won the first two matchups, but Philadelphia picked up the win in their last meeting. The 1st period had great pace and there weren’t too many whistles. Late in the 2nd period, the Huntsmen had a power play opportunity. Aidan Parker was nicely set up by Stickley and England for the 1-0 lead. In the 3rd period, both teams took penalties and 4 on 4 hockey was the result. Aidan Milburn carried the puck into the offensive zone and fired top shelf giving the Huntsmen a 2-0 lead. A few minutes later, PHC turned the puck over right in front of the net and Charlie Allen made it 3-0. The Huntsmen ended a 5-game losing streak and Jackson Gruttadauria picked up the win in net with a 20 save shutout.
“The energy level was different today, we were cheering each other on and supporting each other. We played as a unit. We got back to the basics and worked hard and did what we had to do.” Hoffman
Before the game, the Huntsmen called up two players from the Premier Team, Paul Auge Cisar, and Charlie Allen. Allen had a goal in the game and their Captain took notice of their performance. “Both of those kids (Cisar, Allen) work so hard and they are young and fearless. They practice with us all the time and I loved having them on the ice with us.” Hoffman
“It was pretty cool, obviously the competition is next level. Going out there and battling with the team and coming out with the win was super cool. The biggest difference was when I would get the puck, there was a guy right on you. I got crushed pretty bad on my first two shifts because I wasn’t quick enough, the speed and the hitting were definitely different.” Paul Auge Cisar
“It was a lot of fun, and it was fun to be there with Cisar as well. The pace is quicker, and its faster hockey and the hits are harder. It felt great to score and I was excited, I hope I can get more opportunities at the EHL level and help them win.” Charlie Allen
EHL vs Maryland
It was the third meeting of the season. The first two games were decided by one goal, a 5-4 OT win for PA, and a 3-2 win for Maryland. Unfortunately, this was the worst game of the season for the Huntsmen. Seven minutes into the game and the Huntsmen were down 2-0. In the 2nd period, Maryland added to their lead making it 4-0. It only got uglier in the 3rd period as Maryland scored three more times and would win the game 7-0. The Huntsmen had chances here and there but never really got things going.
Premier vs 87s
It was meeting number four between the Huntsmen and 87s, and the season series was 2-1 NJ. The Huntsmen scored first on a rebound chance by Nick Smith for the 1-0 lead. The Huntsmen penalty kill was busy as they killed off three NJ power play chances. In the 2nd the 87s tied the game 1-1. Midway through the 3rd, Schaeffer sent a pass from the far wall to Jacob Chow, and he sent a one timer to the back of the net for the 2-1 lead. Late in the 3rd the Huntsmen took a penalty with just under 2 minutes left in the game. The 87s emptied the net for the six on four advantage. Goaltender Matt Beatty and the penalty kill came though and the Huntsmen hung on for the 2-1 victory. Overall the Huntsmen penalty kill took care of business going 8-8 and not allowing NJ to score on the power play.
“We are coming together right now and its been showing on the ice. We have been running our PK like crazy and I think we have one of the best in the league. We were focused on pressure; we didn't want to give them any time with the puck.” Jacob Chow
“We have guys blocking shots left and right. We had a bunch of dogs out there on the penalty kill, guys like Charlie (Allen), Auge (Cisar), and Brock (Burrell) all working hard. The coaches have been helping up a lot lately by keeping things simple and win the small battles.” Matt Beatty
“We have a lot of respect for them (87s), and they got the best of us in the first two meetings. We are working better now and more together and use our skillsets to our advantage. Our penalty kill was amazing tonight, they were working hard and blocking shots. Matt Beatty was a big reason for our win tonight.” Conner Randell
Overall, the Huntsmen are on a four-game point streak and climbing up the Mid Atlantic Division Standings. “We have been playing with more heart over this stretch. We are working for each other and working for the logo rather than personal points. We are working together and playing for the person next to us, and that’s led to success for us.” Randell
The Huntsmen get back to work Friday on the road against the New Jersey 87s. This will be the 3rd meeting of the year, and the season series is tied 1-1 (4-3 PA / 3-2 NJ). The 87s are coming off a 3-2 overtime win against the New Jersey Bears. The Bears are in 1st place in the South Division 11-2-1
The Huntsmen are on the road for two games this weekend. First, they visit the New Jersey Renegades on Saturday. On Sunday they will face the Union Jr. Thunder. This will be the third meeting against the Renegades, the Huntsmen won the first matchup 7-2, and lost the second one in a shoot-out 6-5. The Renegades are coming off a home and home series split against the Philadelphia Little Flyers winning 3-2 in a shoot-out and losing 5-4 in overtime. The Huntsmen end the weekend against the Union Jr. Thunder. This will be the first time they face each other; the Thunder are last in the division.
EHL at New Jersey 87s Friday Nov. 3rd 12:30pm
Premier at New Jersey Renegades Saturday Nov. 4th 7:45pm
Premier at Union Jr. Thunder Sunday Nov. 5th 3:40pm
By: Joe Sindoni
Play by Play Announce