October 26, 2013
In their second game in as many days, the Philadelphia Little Flyers played the Northern Cyclones at Ice Works Skating Complex in Aston, PA. Both teams were coming off wins going into this game, the Little Flyers’ coming the day prior against the Boston Junior Rangers, and The Cyclones had just defeated the Junior Flyers in a close game a few days earlier. Before the game Coach Russo shared some insight on how he planned for his team to approach the game, stating, “We’re looking to go out and play a physical, blue collar type of hockey. We need to suppress their offense, as well as sustain offensive pressure in their zone. We also want Alec Derks to have the type of solid game we’ve grown to expect.” The Cyclones boast a high power offense as they have the league leader in points Kevin Valenti with 23pts (10G, 13A) in 9 games, which reflects in their 8-1 record.
The Little Flyers offense shined early as Jude Warner put his first goal of the season past Brendan Tidman only 18 seconds into the first period on the first shot of the game. He later commented on the goal, saying, “That first goal was huge in swinging the momentum of the game in our favor early. After that goal they came out flat.” The Little Flyers offense continued to run on all cylinders as Colin Woods and Oleg Potemkin also scored to give the little Flyers a 3-0 lead going into the second period. Although the score was one-sided play in the 1st, the play was not as Alec Derks was tested often and the Cyclones had a good amount of sustained pressure in the Flyers zone.
The Cyclones didn’t fare much better in the second period. Netminder Brendan Tidman was pulled, in favor of Evan Morelli, after allowing his 4th goal of the game, courtesy of a backhand shot from Jesse MacIntyre. With just under two minutes left and his team about to go on the powerplay, Cyclones coach, Bill Flanagan decided to employ a high risk-high reward strategy and pull his goaltender in favor of a sixth skater. The gamble did not pay off; instead, it resulted in Jude Warner’s second goal of the game scored from behind his own blue line. The goal sent the Little Flyers into the third period with a commanding 5-0 lead.
The third period yielded no goals as both teams played solid defensively. Alec Derks posted a well-deserved shutout. When asked how he kept his focus throughout the game he said, “I just stayed relaxed. Every time they came down the ice I know they had an opportunity to score so that really made me focus in on each of their chances.” Coach Russo also commented after the game, “It was a good team effort. Alec (Derks) played a stellar game, but everyone did their part in contributing to this win.”
The Little Flyers record improves to 6-4-1 after handing the Northern Cyclones only their second loss of the season.