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EHL Premier: Little Flyers' offense erupts in win over 87s

10/11/2020, 11:00pm EDT
By Tim Riday

The Little Flyers Premier team handed the 87s a 6-4 loss Sunday.


ASTON, Pa. -- The Philadelphia Little Flyers Premier team was looking for a response on Sunday.

They got it. 

After dropping Saturday’s game to the New Jersey 87s, the Little Flyers used an offensive explosion to down their South Division rival, 6-4, in the second half of the back-to-back at IceWorks Skating Complex.

Steven Griffin scored twice and Jake Findley and Logan Downs each recorded a goal and an assist to help PLF improve to 2-2-0 this season. Nicholas Bouchard added three helpers and Tyler Ruppert and Kelly Stroik also found the back of the net.

"The rivalry is picking up," Griffin said. "We're getting to know the guys and their games out there. Everyone's trying to win and we want to take the division."

The 87s opened the scoring at 5:44 in the first period after a failed clear by the Little Flyers. Brock Forrest found Ivan Borisov on a quick 2-on-1 down low to beat Trey Mattern, who finished the night with 32 saves on 36 shots.

Findley got Philadelphia on the scoreboard with just five minutes and 30 seconds remaining in the opening frame. The play all started with an Angelo Carboni keep at the blue line. Downs then dug a puck out of the boards down low and dished to Bouchard, who had Findley backdoor for an easy tap-in.

New Jersey took advantage of some more sloppy defensive play by PLF at 16:36. Two failed zone exits led to Michael LoRicco’s marker to make it 2-1 after the first.

The Little Flyers came out buzzing to start the second period, pressing the 87s into their own zone. At 3:51, Patrick Price hit a flying Jon Rineer with a long cross-ice pass to start another attack. Rineer breezed past a defender and put a quick shot on Tyler Roesel. Roesel couldn’t control his rebound and Stroik was there to poke it home to knot the game at 2-2.

New Jersey took another short-lived lead at 3-2 after Luke Satkowski capitalized on yet another Philadelphia turnover in the D-zone at 10:01. Griffin wasn’t having that. With just over six minutes remaining in the second, the 2001 birth year stripped an 87s defenseman at center ice and fought hard to enter the offensive zone, bodying off a man and going bar down on a fancy backhanded attempt to tie things up at 3-3.

A minute later, Collin Berry launched a long-distance pass to Bouchard at the far blue line. Bouchard made a quick touch pass to Findley, who then found a wide-open Downs in the slot. Downs made no mistake on his wrister over the shoulder of Roesel and gave the Little Flyers their first lead of the night.

The 87s had an answer, however. Damon Cassuci brought the score even again at 16:22 and the two teams entered the third period deadlocked at 4-4.

The final frame belonged to Philadelphia. Despite being down a man, Bouchard and Griffin were absolute pests at 4:39. Bouchard missed the net on a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush but recovered the loose puck in the corner. He then pulled two defenders towards him and passed back to Griffin in the middle for a one-timer that made the game 5-4.

The Little Flyers extended their lead to 6-4 just three minutes later. After a textbook regroup, Carboni pushed the puck up ice to a waiting Johnny Zebley. Zebley then avoided a hit before Ruppert picked up the loose puck and sniped Roesel over his right shoulder to put the game out of reach.

"We all needed the win," Griffin said. "It wasn't just me. It was everyone. Everyone was chipping in. Now we gotta focus on the Renegades for next week and beat them."

Loose pucks
Bouchard has two goals and seven assists during his four-game point streak. … Pretty clean game. The Little Flyers went 0 for 1 on the power play and successfully killed both of their shorthanded situations. … Next up for Philadelphia is an 8 p.m. matchup with the New Jersey Renegades at Revolution Ice Gardens on Saturday, October 17.

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