Philadelphia Little Flyers @ New Jersey Renegades
Saturday, Nov. 14
7 p.m. @ Aspen Ice
When a team enters a bit of a slump, it usually looks to a leading scorer to provide a spark.
Nicholas Bouchard was up to the task on Saturday.
The third-year Little Flyer recorded a hat trick and two assists to help Philadelphia end a three-game skid in a 7-4 win over the Renegades.
Logan Downs chipped in three points (2G, 1A) and Jon Rineer had two assists. Steven Griffin and Johnny Lee also scored while Trey Mattern made 20 saves between the pipes.
“It felt good to get the offense going,” Bouchard said. “All the boys were rolling. Getting pucks in deep, pucks on net and keeping things simple out there.”
PLF was all over New Jersey in the first period. On the opening shift, Jack Ellis bodied off a defenseman in the corner and poked the puck loose down low. Ryan Kertis picked it up a set Griffin up with a backhanded pass that was one-timed home just 32 seconds in for a 1-0 lead.
The Little Flyers' second shift was nearly identical. This time, Bouchard brushed off a defender along the boards and got the puck over to Rineer. After another backhander to the slot, Philadelphia found itself with a 2-0 advantage not even two minutes into the game on Downs' first tally of the night.
The offensive onslaught continued midway through the first. Downs made a great read on a breakout attempt and intercepted a bank pass off the glass. Bouchard was breaking down the right wing and deked to the backhand after collecting Downs' centering feed to make it 3-0 at 9:43.
The Downs-Rineer-Bouchard trio connected again 30 seconds later. Rineer hit Bouchard with a perfect stretch pass and Downs buried a drop at the faceoff circle to give Philadelphia a four-goal lead.
At 11:24, PLF made it five in a row. Angelo Carboni pushed the puck up ice to Tyler Ruppert, who fired a heavy shot on goal after cleanly entering the offensive zone. Lee broke to the net and finished off Ruppert's rebounder to make it 5-0.
The Little Flyers' only error of the period came at 13:48. James Mattson picked off a flubbed breakout pass and fed Dylan Idland to get New Jersey on the board.
Bouchard scored his second goal of the contest five minutes into the second period. Jordan Pakuris started the play off by wrapping the puck around the net to a waiting Tyler Law in the D-zone. Law chipped the puck up ice off the side boards and a flying Bouchard collected it and went backhand again to put Philadelphia up 6-1.
The Renegades pushed back after falling into an early hole. Joey Cole and Idland scored at 8:52 and 17:12, respectively, to close the gap entering the third period.
Cam Veno recorded New Jersey's third consecutive marker at the 17:45 mark in the final frame.
Didn't matter. Philadelphia tightened up defensively in the final minutes and Bouchard completed his hat trick with an empty-netter as time was about to expire to make it a 7-4 final.
Philadelphia Little Flyers vs. New Jersey Renegades
Sunday, Nov. 15
3 p.m. @ IceWorks Skating Complex
ASTON, Pa -- Well, that escalated quickly.
I mean, that really got out of hand fast.
The Little Flyers were utterly dominant in an 8-1 blowout of the Renegades at IceWorks Skating Complex on Sunday. Griffin, Downs and Elliott Schon had two goals apiece in the rout. Kertis (1G, 1A) and Carboni (2A) also had multi-point performances.
Bouchard, the EHL Premier’s leading scorer, tacked on another three points (1G, 2A) to finish the weekend with four goals and four assists in two games.
“Feels good [to be the league’s leading scorer],” Bouchard said. “It’s just starting. Gotta keep it going. Looking forward to next weekend.”
Philadelphia got things started at the 4:16 mark of the first period. Pat Jensen pokechecked a Renegades forward at the blue line to push the play up ice to Lee. After entering the offensive zone, Lee dropped back to Kertis, who cut to the front of the crease and went five-hole with a backhanded shot.
At 10:06, Griffin scored his first of the afternoon off a deflection from William DiStefano's point blast.
New Jersey scored off a faceoff win at 10:25 but the Little Flyers bounced back with a Bouchard backdoor one-timer from Downs at 10:50. Downs positioned himself perfectly to intercept a breakout attempt on the play.
PLF capped off a busy opening frame with Schon's first goal since rejoining the EHL Premier team. Patrick Price won a faceoff and, while falling to the ice, placed a perfect cross-ice feed on Schonn's blade to make it 4-1.
The Little Flyers kept the pressure on to start the second period. Carboni pushed the puck up ice to a wheeling Bouchard, who threw a low shot on target. The rebound bounced right to Downs and he slammed it home.
Griffin gave Philadelphia a 6-1 lead at 8:05 off a nice feed from Kertis on the give-and-go.
PLF made sure there would be no comeback in the third. Price won another faceoff in the first shift of the frame and Kelly Stroik made a touch pass back to Thomas Yocum on the point. Yocum fireda shot on goal that Schonn tipped for his second of the season.
Downs put the nail in the coffin at 3:51. Bouchard cycled the puck back to Carboni, who made a great stretch pass to the far blue line. Downs picked it up, sped towards the net, hit the post but put his second try past the goalline to make it 8-1.
Ronan Marley wasn't that busy in net but finished the day with 12 saves on 13 shots to pick up the win.
Bouchard has a six-point lead at the top of the EHL Premier leading scorers board. He has nine goals and 17 assists in 14 games this season. ... Downs had a great weekend, recording four goals and two assists. ... The Little Flyers outshot the Renegades in both contests. It was 36-24 on Saturday and 59-13 on Sunday. ... Philadelphia went 0 for 9 on the power play this weekend. The PK was strong, however, killing 1 of 8 shorthanded situations.