Aston, Pa – The Little Flyers advanced to the South Division final by defeating Team Maryland in their first-round playoff series. Behind the goaltending of Joseph Henson, the Little Flyers outscored Team Maryland 11-4 in the series. The 2001 Goaltender from Troy Michigan picked up his 23rd & 24th win in net this season with the two-game sweep while stopping 64 of 68 shots faced in the series. Offensively, the Little Flyers dynamic scoring ability continued to show as it has all season, Eight different Little Flyers scored a goal in the series. Led by three tallies from Tony Andrews and two goals from Adam Beauvais, the Little Flyers saw offensive contributions up and down the lineup in round one.
Up next for the Little Flyers is a showdown with the New Jersey 87s in the South Division Finals with a trip to the EHL's Frozen Finals on the line.
Hockey Night in Boston Beat Writer, Anthony Di Paolo previewed the South Division Final with keys to the series for both teams:
#1 Philadelphia Little Flyers (30-12-4) vs. #2 New Jersey 87’s (30-12-4)
Regular season series: Little Flyers 4-3-0 over 87’s
Why the Little Flyers will win: It‘s sort of ironic how both series in the South Division, which was the tightest EHL division all season, ended in sweeps. Team Maryland put up a fight each game and saw a remarkable bounce-back from Jackson Bernard, who faced 95 shots in the two games, but was overpowered by the Little Flyers’ relentless offensive attack. In Philadelphia’s 6-2 and 5-2 victories, 15 of their 20 skaters recorded at least a point, while Tony Andrews (3) and Adam Beauvais (2) lead the team in goals. Joseph Henson finished the series with a .941 save percentage, stopping 64 of the 68 shots he faced. Numbers and stats aside, it seems like the Little Flyers just have to beat the 87’s this year. Philadelphia was eliminated last year by New Jersey in the South Division Final, and this season the Little Flyers won the regular-season series over the 87’s for the first time in the EHL, a possible foreshadowing for post-season revenge. This series is shaping up to be a bloodbath on both sides, and right now the Little Flyers are the favorites to win the division.
Why the 87’s will win: Like the Little Flyers, New Jersey also finished the regular season hot and proceeded to dismantle its opponent in the first round of the playoffs, with 7-1 and 8-0 victories over the Protec Jr. Ducks. The 87’s already have nine different goal scorers and are the only team in the EHL with a positive goal differential in the double digits. Devlin O’Kane leads the team with four goals while Matt Zdanowicz is the leader in points with seven (2g, 5a). Owen Hains won both of his starts, stopping 42 of 43 shots in the series for a .977 save percentage. While the Little Flyers are the favorites, the 87’s have done everything they can to challenge that notion through their play in the first round. On top of having veterans who played in the 2021 Frozen Finals, the 87’s also have former Little Flyer Robbie Seewagen, who scored seven goals in as many games against Philadelphia this season. Overall, you have two teams who have gotten exponentially better over the last few weeks, and of all the Division Final matchups this clash of the titans in the South will be the one to watch.
Game 1 3/16 - NJ 87s @ Philadelphia Little Flyers 2:30 PM
Game 2 3/18 - Philadelphia Little Flyers @ NJ 87s 12:30 PM
*Game 3 3/21 - NJ 87s @ Philadelphia Little Flyers 1:30 PM
Full second round preview by Anthony for Hockey Night in Boston : Eastern Hockey League - Second Round Playoff Preview: Division Final Series Get Underway This Week - HNIB News