(Photo Credit: Richard O'Donnell Photography)
Philadelphia Little Flyers vs. New York Apple Core
Monday, Dec. 7
1 p.m. @ Ice Line
WEST GOSHEN, Pa -- Welcome back, Mikey Giampapa.
The 2000 birth year, who recorded 29 goals and 25 assists in 35 games and was named EHL Forward of the Year during the 2018-19 season as a member of the Little Flyers, made his return to Philadelphia on Monday afternoon.
Giampapa made an immediate impact for PLF, scoring in the first period of his 2020-21 debut and recording eight shots on goal in a 4-2 win over the New York Apple Core.
Scott MeGraw chipped in a goal and two assists and Dante Gattone continued his hot play as of late with two points of his own.
There was no shortage of animosity as both teams combined for 68 minutes in a chippy, hard-hitting affair.
Giampapa broke a scoreless 0-0 tie just 33 seconds into the second period. MeGraw won a puck battle in the Little Flyers' defensive zone and chipped it over to Avery Arnold to start the play. Arnold hit Giampapa with a stretch pass and the Ridley Park native did the rest, drifting past an Apple Core defender, breaking to the middle of the ice and waiting out netminder Jackson Bernard before going top shelf for his first of the season.
That wasn't Giampapa's only contribution. Although he didn't receive an assist, Giampapa played a pivotal role on Philadelphia's second marker of the afternoon. With New York on the breakout, Giampapa skated hard on the backcheck and threw a huge hit along the boards in the neutral zone. Shane Green collected the loose puck at the Little Flyers' blue line and quickly passed up ice to Gattone, who deked to the outside and snuck one past Bernard on the backhand for his seventh of the season.
MeGraw's unassisted empty-net tally put the game away with 1:01 left on the clock.
PLF went 1 for 4 on the man advantage.
With Sam Mitchell off for interference in the third period, Gavin Fritch gave his team a 3-2 lead at 11:57. Gattone hit MeGraw with a cross-ice pass before MeGraw's wrist shot rung off the post. Fritch jumped on the rebound and fired it into the empty cage.
The Little Flyers were a perfect 8 for 8 while shorthanded on Monday.
Jakub Kubik was spectacular in net for Philadelphia. The Czech native made 28 saves and was lights on the PK, stopping all 14 shots fired his way.
Kubik is now 6-6-0 with a .911 save percentage in 12 appearances this season.
MeGraw extended his point streak to nine games. He has four goals and 14 assists during that stretch. ... Philadelphia outshot New York, 39-30.
Philadelphia Little Flyers vs. New York Apple Core
Monday, Dec. 8
12 p.m. @ Ice Line
WEST GOSHEN, Pa -- It may be a little early in the season to be scoreboard watching.
But after shutting out New York on Tuesday, 3-0, to complete a back-to-back sweep of Apple Core, it's possible for the Little Flyers to hold sole possession of second place in the Mid-Atlantic Conference by the end of the week.
Philadelphia is surging. With wins in six of its last seven games, Thursday’s matchup with Team Maryland becomes even more crucial.
And the Little Flyers are finally starting to find their stride. They are receiving balanced scoring from their top three lines. Special teams are clicking. The goaltending has been superb.
On Tuesday, Kyle Patton had a goal and two assists to lead the way offensively. Robbie Seewagen chipped in a goal and an assist and Joseph Henson recorded his first shutout of the season in just his third start for PLF.
Tyler Marvil's third-period tally was a legitimate Goal of the Year candidate. Ryan Houle made it happen by bodying an Apple Core player off the puck in front of the Little Flyers' bench. Houle dished to Patton, who found a breaking Marvil up ice. Marvil turned the jets on, danced around a defender and pulled off a brilliant backhanded deke to give Philadelphia a 2-0 advantage.
Patton iced the game at 12:49 with his team-leading 10th of 2020-21. Seewagen knocked a New York forward off the puck and Fritch swooped in to feed Patton for a breakaway.
PLF was again 1 for 4 on the PP.
Seewagen netted his ninth goal of the season on the man advantage at 14:50 of the second period. Seewagen and Patton executed a perfect give-and-go before Seewagen unloaded a hard one-timer in the slot. Gattone picked up the secondary assist after pushing the puck up ice to Patton.
The Little Flyers were stellar on the PK on Tuesday, going 4 for 4 in their shorthanded situations.
Philadelphia finished the back-to-back set 12 for 12 on the kill.
Henson had quite a few stretches where he didn't see much action.
Nevertheless, he finished a perfect 22 of 22 for his first career shutout with the Little Flyers.
Since joining the team, Henson has gone 2-1-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and .950 save percentage.
MeGraw's nine-game point streak came to an end. ... With three points, Patton leapfrogged MeGraw for the team lead in points with 24. ... Fritch has recorded at least one point in four straight (2G, 3A). ... Gattone has 12 points in his last eight games overall.
The Little Flyers (9-9-1, 19 points) will visit Team Maryland (9-8-2, 20 points) on Thursday. Puck drop is scheduled for 12 p.m.