Aston, PA -- The Little Flyers EHL Premier team traveled to New Jersey on Sunday night for game three of their best of three series, the winner would moved on to the League Final, the losers season would be over so close to a chance to play for the Championship. The Little Flyers won game one 4-3 but lost game two the next night by a final score of 4-1.
The first period was a tightly contested one with the two teams exchanging scoring chances and power play opportunities. Second year forward Austin Mazzulo broke the scoreless tie with fifteen seconds remaining in the first period banging home a loose puck in front of the 87s net, Mazzulo’s goal was assisted by Sebastian Romeniecki. The Little Flyers out shot New Jersey 13-6 in the period.
Sam Clapinson doubled the Little Flyers lead near the halfway point of the second period with a power play goal, Shane Green was credited with the only assist on the play. Special Teams and Goaltending would be the story for the rest of the game for Philadelphia as Goalie of the Year candidate Graham Burke saved his best performance of the season for crunch time. The Little Flyers found themselves shorthanded 11 times in the game including a huge stretch of five minutes in the third period. A Brett Turner Boarding major gave the 87s a five minute power play with just under 15 minutes left to play in the third. While killing off the Turner penalty, Will Garrison was called for a High Sticking minor, putting the Little Flyers down two men for two full minutes. Burke and the defense stepped up, successfully killing off the major penalty and two man advantage. Mazzulo started the Little Flyers scoring, and he finished it scoring his second goal of the game 11:49 into the third period with assists from linemates Johnny Scarduzio and Ryan Sharkey to take a 1-0 lead.
Down the other end of the ice, it was Burke’s night. The 2001 birth year goaltender from Baton Rouge, Louisiana made 34 saves in the 3-0 Little Flyers victory, sending his team to the Eastern Hockey League Finals on Sunday February 24th where they will face-off against the New England Wolves in the League Championship game.