There's plenty of action to cover in this edition of the weekly recap. The EHL Team hosted the South Division leading New Jersey Bears, and then headed to Hollydell Ice Arena for the Regional Showcase. Meanwhile, the Premier Team had a big home and home series with the Philadelphia Little Flyers last weekend.
EHL vs Bears 11-8
It was the second meeting with the Bears. New Jersey scored just two minutes into the game. Shortly after, the Huntsmen had a power play, and Liam Helyer tied the game 1-1 with a goal from the point. The Bears would respond and take the lead back just 15 seconds later. The next faceoff the Bears went right into the offensive zone and scored again just 9 seconds later and in the blink of an eye it was 3-1 NJ. The Bears would add another to close out the period with a 4-1 lead. Early in the 2nd period Justin Kratz would score for Pennsylvania to make it 4-2. The Bears continued scoring and scored twice as they extended their lead 6-2. In the 3rd the Huntsmen had two power plays but couldn’t capitalize. The game ended with the Bears winning 6-2.
EHL vs New Jersey 87s
The Huntsmen got off to a hot start as Damon Warren gave PA the 1-0 lead just over two minutes into the game. In the 2nd, Alex Erlain capitalized on a rebound chance making it 2-0. About 5 minutes later Pennsylvania won an offensive zone faceoff. Warren sent the puck to Hunter Hoffman; Hoffman went to the near point to Aidan Parker, and he fired a slap shot top shelf for the 3-0 lead. Aidan Hellyer ended the game in style on a quick breakaway and scored as the Huntsmen won the game 4-0. Cole Fennema was outstanding in net making 49 saves and earning the shutout.
EHL vs Little Flyers
The Little Flyers scored the only goal in the 1st period. The Huntsmen had two powerplays but weren’t able to score. Less than a minute into the 2nd, the Huntsmen were shorthanded and the Little Flyers scored on the powerplay to make it a 2-0 game. Later in the period, Philadelphia scored two more goals less than a minute apart and the Huntsmen trailed 4-0. Alex Erlain put the Huntsmen on the board in the 3rd period to make it 4-1. The Little Flyers answered back to extend their lead 5-1. Charlie Allen added a power play goal last in the game but it wasn’t enough as the Huntsmen lost 5-2.
Premier vs Little Flyers
In the 1st period, the Huntsmen had two power play chances but didn't score. In the 2nd period, the Little Flyers scored to make it 1-0. There were many penalties in the period. There was four on four action, and power plays on each side but the score remained the same. In the 3rd, Darius Nichols would capitalize on the power play to tie the game 1-1. The Little Flyers took a late penalty in the 3rd but the Huntsmen would not be able to score. The penalty carried into overtime, but again Pennsylvania wouldn’t be able to score. The penalty ended, and since it was three on three overtime, it became four on four until a whistle. The whistle blew but only because Anthony LoGiurato would score from the slot to give the Huntsmen the 2-1 win in thrilling fashion. Matt Beatty had a great game in net with 36 saves.
“Every game is a battle, and both teams come out on fire. We just have to battle every time in order to get the win. It took us a little bit to get going but there were a lot of hits, and everyone was working hard, said LoGiurato.” On his game winner “It was amazing! Winning the game is always great but when your teammates pile up on you after a game winner it’s the best feeling ever.”
“The energy is high and its super intense and it’s a real battle out there. It feels like a playoff game every time we play them. We got off to a slow start in this game, so we need to put together a full sixty-minute effort, but it was still a great win for us.” Matt Beatty
“There definitely a mutual sense of ‘We don’t like each other.’ We are close to each other geographically and I think both teams battle to be the more dominant team from this area. There were a lot of scoring chances but both goalies played well, I think Matt Beatty stood on his head to keep us in the game. It was a gritty game.” Connor Randell
Sunday vs Little Flyers
The battle and physicality carried over into Sunday’s game. This game was filled with penalties. In the 1st period both teams traded chances but neither team would score. Early in the 2nd, the Huntsmen were shorthanded. Nick Smith stole the puck in the Huntsmen zone has the Little Flyers were setting up. Smith raced through the neutral zone and then sent a pass to Brock Burrell. Burrell crashed the net and scored shorthanded to give the Huntsmen a 1-0 lead. In the 3rd thing got a little crazy as both teams committed a lot of penalties. Through all the ugliness, the Huntsmen were able to hang on for the 1-0 win. Goaltender Jackson Gruttadauria stood the test making 24 saves to earn the shutout.
“We've matured a lot since the beginning of the season and have come together as a team. There’s love all around and it’s a great atmosphere to be in. I wouldn’t want to play with anyone else.” Beatty
“It’s definitely getting better, but we need to continue to work and get better. We need to work harder at focusing on the right things and not letting other teams get in our heads and make sure we do the little things right.” Randell
The Huntsmen are back in action as they travel to Connecticut to face the Chiefs for a two-game series. The Chiefs are 4th in the Central Division at 5-10-3 with 13 points. They are 0-4-1 in their last 5 games. The Huntsmen split the Regional Showcase and are now 9-9-2 with 20 points, 3rd in the South Division. Philadelphia Hockey Club is right behind them with 19 points, the Little Flyers with 16 points. The Bears are in 1st place with 33 points, the 87s are in 2nd with 25 points. This will be the first time the Huntsmen take on the Chiefs.
After a rough start to the season, the Huntsmen have turned things around. They have won seven of their last eight games, and the lone loss was a shoot-out, so they still gained a point. Since Oct. 14th the Huntsmen have been on an eight-game point streak and are 2nd in the Mid Atlantic Division. They are one point behind the New Jersey 87s. This weekend the Huntsmen will get the chance to move into 1st place in the division as they go head-to-head with New Jersey. This will be the 5th time they meet. The Season Series is even 2-2. The 87s won the first two matchups, while the Huntsmen have taken the most recent two. The Huntsmen defeated the 87s 5-2 and 2-1 and since then, New Jersey has won five straight games. After the 87s, the Huntsmen will travel north to take on the Connecticut Chiefs for a two-game series. The Chiefs are 3-13 this season and have lost three of their last four games.
EHL at Connecticut Chiefs Monday 2:30pm
EHL at Connecticut Chiefs Tuesday 1pm
Premier vs New Jersey 87s Sunday 2:55pm
Premier at Connecticut Chiefs Monday at 12pm
Premier at Connecticut Chiefs Tuesday at 10:20am
By: Joe Sindoni
Play by Play Announcer