18U - The Philadelphia Little Flyers had another great showing at the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) Showcase this past weekend. The team went 4-0 while putting in some very impressive team performances. In game one, the Little Flyers faced off against IHA Florida. Florida opened the scoring at the 11:19 mark of the first period with an even strength goal and that would be all for the Florida offense on the day. The Little Flyers defense combined to only allow Florida 7 shots on goal throughout the entire game. While the defense held strong, the offense started to heat up. Cole Soster’s even strength goal in the last minutes of the first period tied the game at 1-1, Izy Seaman assisted on the goal. David Matousek gave Philadelphia the lead just fourteen seconds into the second period with a helper from Patrick O’Connell. Matousek struck again in the second period taking a pass from Chris Blango and putting the puck in the back of the net, Jack Costible was credited with the secondary assist on the play. With the defense holding Florida to just one shot on goal in the third, Byron Hartley put the game with an even strength goal at the 13:23 mark of the period, Izy Seaman and Conor Booth picked up assists on the goal. Liam Gross collected the win in net stopping 6 of 7 shots.
The Little Flyers dominated the second game of the weekend taking down the 95 Giants by a final score of 10-1. Cole Soster got the scoring starting with a goal midway through the first period. Soster’s 4th NAPHL goal of the season was assisted by Jack Costible and Chris Blango. Byron Hartley doubled the lead five minutes later with help from Koby Howat and Costible. The 95’s got on the board with a goal early in the second period to cut the Philadelphia lead to one and then it was all Little Flyers from there as the team scored five goals in a five minute span to take full control of the game. Harltey netted his second of the game with the NAPHL’s leading assist man, Patrick O’Connell registering the only assist on the goal. Jack Costible, David Matousek and Harrison Dumas each scored second period goals with Hartley adding the exclamation point to cap the scoring in the second period as he scored a hat trick. Hartley owned the third period, adding three more goals to finish the game with six on the day. Jake Moleski and Conor Booth helped to set up Hartley’s third period goals as well as Koby Howat who finished the game with five assists. Harris Brotman took care of business in the Little Flyers end, making 25 saves in the convincing 10-1 victory.
The second game on Saturday was a back and forth affair with the New Jersey Titans. After New Jersey took a 1-0 lead, Patrick O’Connell set up David Matousek for the game tying goal. Less than a minute into the second period, Matousek and O’Connell connected again, this time to give the Little Flyers the lead. After a back and forth second period that saw the two teams exchange scoring chances up and down the ice, New Jersey was able to find the equalizer with just over a minute remaining in the period. Koby Howat was quick to respond for the Little Flyers as he regained the Philadelphia lead with forty seconds remaining in the second frame, Byron Hartley took a break from scoring goals to set up the Howat go ahead score. Jake Moleski added a little breathing room early in the third period with Hartley collecting his second assist in the game. As they did all game, New Jersey responded to get the Little Flyers lead back to one. Patrick O’Connell gave the Little Flyers a two goal cushion once again at the 10:58 mark of the third period with an even strength goal. Hartley finished off NewJersey just over two minutes later with O’Connell and Jack Costible adding assists. The Little Flyers won the game by a final score of 6-3, Harris Brotman won his second game of the weekend in net for Philadelphia with 19 saves.
In their final game of the showcase weekend, Liam Gross’ 16 save shutout led the Little Flyers to a 5-0 win. Patrick O’Connell started the game offensively for Philadelphia netting his second goal of the weekend that was set up by David Matousek and Trent Gehringer. One minute later Byron Hartley gave the Little Flyers a two goal lead with his league leading 17th goal of the season, Chris Blango and Jack Costible assisted on the power play goal. The Little Flyers capitalized on another Power Play chance later in the period as Chris Blango notched his first goal of the season with helpers from David Matousek and JackCostible. Hartley and Costible combined to set up Jake Moleski’s second period even strength goal to take a commanding 4-0 lead. Koby Howat’s goal midway through the third period sealed the victory for the Little Flyers as they finished the weekend with a perfect 4-0 record.
U16 National - In their only AYHL game of the weekend, the Little Flyers U16 National team fell to the Valley Forge National Premier team by a final score of 4-2. After falling behind 3-0 in the first period, the Little Flyers battled back in the second period. Sam Christian got the Little Flyers on the board with an unassisted even strength goal. Then Michael Guarracino cut the Valley Forge lead to one with a power play goal that was assisted by Jack Ellis. The Little Flyers couldn’t find the equalizer in the third period as Valley Forge added an insurance goal with six minutes left in the third. Matt Lynch made 47 saves in relief duty for Philadelphia.
2005 Bantam Major - Goaltender Christian Amato led the Little Flyers to a 2-0 win against Virtua Hockey on Saturday with a 39 save shutout. After a scoreless first period, Evan Rauch’s unassisted second period goal put the Little Flyers up 1-0. Amato and the defense handled the rest to keep Virtua off the board for the remainder of the game. Nick Fiore sealed the victory with an empty net goal that was assisted by Joseph Samango.
2007 PeeWee Major - The Little Flyers had a good run at the Three Rivers Tournament in Pittsburgh over the weekend, posting a 2-1-1 record. Little Flyers netminder, Jacob Aranda shut out the Alleghany Badgers in the first game of the tournament. Jerry DiStefano and Alec James set up Thaddeus Raynish for an even strength goal in the first period to get the Little Flyers on the board first. Raynish struck again in the second to extend the lead with time winding down in the second period to take a 2-0 advantage into the third, DiStefano and James picked up their second assists of the game on the goal. Xavier Thomas sealed the game for the Little Flyers with an unassisted even strength goal in the third.
In game two of the tournament Davis Fairbanks made 30 saves in a closely contested 1-0 loss against Markham Waxers. Later in the day, the Little Flyers and Triad Storm battled to a 2-2 tie. Blake Ditalia set up Max Thomas in the first period to take a 1-0 lead. The Storm found the equalizer several minutes later to send the teams tied at 1-1 heading into the second period. The Storm took their first lead of the game three minutes into the second frame but Corbin Cassel scored an unassisted goal to tie the game at 2-2. The teams would battle through a scoreless third period to have the game end deadlocked at two.
In their final game of the tournament, the Little Flyers offense handed the Triad Storm a 5-2 loss. Thaddeus Raynish’s first period short handed goal started the scoring for Philadelphia, Alec James collected the lone assist on the goal. In the second period the LittleFlyers took a commanding 3-0 lead. First, Connor James netted a power play goal from Jerry DiStefano, then Bradyn Holmes was set up by Sean Albert and James Happas for Holmes’ first goal of the weekend. Thaddeus Raynish collected his second goal of the game midway through the third period with the help of Alec James who provided his third assist of the game. Triad countered several minutes later to cut the Little Flyers lead to 4-1. Sean Albert responded quickly for the Little Flyers to regain a four goal lead with less than five minutes left in the game. The Storm added a goal with just over a minute remaining as the Little Flyers took this one by a final score of 5-2. Davis Fairbanks picked up the win in goal, making 11 saves.