PHOTO CREDIT: JUSTINA YOST
The JRFlyers were back in action after Thanksgiving break with a three-game weekend. The first game was against the Wilkes Barre Scranton on Saturday, which was the first home game for the JRFlyers since November 8th. Sunday and Monday, the JRFlyers headed up to New York to take on the Bobcats.
Saturday vs Knights
The JRFlyers got on the board early as Bohatiuk sent a sharp angle try to the net and the puck squeaked by (G) Stahel giving the JRFlyers the 1-0 lead. The Knights would go on and tie the game on a breakaway chance beating (G) Mulic tying the game 1-1. It only took sixteen seconds for the JRFlyers to take the lead as Platt scored on the rush for the 2-1 lead. The 2nd period belonged to the Knights. A shot from the point tied the game a 2-2 and then the JRFlyers were faced with a five-minute major. The Knights were able to capitalize with one goal to take the lead 3-2. In the 3rd period the JRFlyers kicked into high gear. Nick Harris fired a shot from the point and it was redirected by Martinez tying the game 3-3. A few minutes later Matt Mood sent the puck to Waterman and his shot from the faceoff circle beat (G) Stahel giving the JRFlyers a 4-3 lead. Only one minute later, Gianni Dini led a rush up the wing into the offensive zone. He fired a shot that was saved by Stahel, but the puck went through him into the blue paint. Crashing the net was Martinez scoring his second goal and the JRFlyers had a 5-3 lead, scoring three goals in five minutes. The Knights would climb within one goal as they scored shorthanded but the JRFlyers would snap a six-game losing streak with a 5-4 win. Mulic made 36 saves in the victory.
“It was great to finally get a win at home. We really took off and exploded on offense in the 3rd period, and everyone was pulling in the right direction. We’ve had a lot of close games that have gotten away from us. Being able to close one out in our favor was a big relief for us and for the locker room.” Platt
“It was nice to be back on home ice after the break, and it was huge for us to get our first home win of the season. It was a good game for us, as a unit we were playing our game no matter what was on the scoreboard. There were some weird bounces both ways, but we kept going and didn't hang our heads when we got down.” Ruppe
“We had a lot of jump in this game, and it was good to see us come out with an early lead. We found ourselves down going into the third period and we said to each other that we have to turn it around, and we finished hard and came out with the win.” Kyle Harris
Sunday vs Bobcats
The JRFlyers got on the board late in the 1st period. While shorthanded the JRFlyers cleared the zone. Ruppe forced a two on one rush and then ripped a slap shot past (G) Shugrue for the 1-0 lead. Less than a minute into the 2nd period Ruppe won an offensive face off as Milne slid the puck to Bierker who buried the shot for the 2-0 lead. The JRFlyers took a 3-0 lead when Dini fired a quick shot blocker side and the rout was on. Just fifteen second later Ruppe sent the puck on net and cashing in on the rebound chance was Milne giving the JRFlyers a 4-0 advantage. Rounding out the scoring frenzy 2nd period was Platt with two goals and Ruppe picked up his second goal as well and the JRFlyers lead was 7-0. In the 3rd period the Bobcats would spoil the shutout for (G) Mulic with a PPG but, newcomer Justin Weinbrenner would cap off the scoring for the JRFlyers winning by a final score of 8-1.
“We had some confidence and swagger going into the game. We were coming off a big win the night before and the team was feeling it.” Platt
“It was nice to see us keep on scoring. Things were just dropping for us, we stuck to our game and we buried our chances.”
This game was a much tighter than Sunday’s as the 1st period flew by with no penalties and no scoring but the JRFlyers led 14-6 in shots. In the 2nd period the JRFlyers were faced with a huge task as the penalty kill was looking at a five on three which included a 5:00 major. The penalty kill unit and (G) Mulic stepped up and denied every chance the Bobcats had to keep the game scoreless at the end of 40 minutes of play. In the 3rd period, Ruppe started the rush and fired a shot on goal. The save was made by (G) Shugrue but the rebound was sent home by Milne to give the JRFlyers a 1-0 lead. With about two minutes left in the game the JRFlyers took another penalty, and the Bobcats emptied the net giving themselves the six on four advantage. The JRFlyers failed to clear the zone and the turnover led to the Bobcats tying the game with :59 left in the 3rd period. The JRFlyers rushed into the offensive zone one last time and drew a tripping call. The final seconds would expire, and the game headed to overtime. The JRFlyers went right to work in the attacking zone as Dini sent a shot on net. The save was made but sending the power play game winner to the back of the net was Kiemel for the 2-1 victory. Goaltender Albin Mulic made 19 saves in the win.
“Anytime you smoke a team like we did, they're always going to comeback the next day much tougher. They kept us off the board for most of the game, but we came out with a big win in OT and completed the sweep.” Platt
“That was a tough game. We felt like we dominated most of the game, and had plenty of chances that we didn't bury. It was rough seeing them tie the game late, but we bounced back and scored early in OT.” Ruppe
“I thought we came out strong and put up a lot of shots. Their (Bobcats) goalie stood on his head and made some good saves. We were moving the puck well, and making good decisions with the puck. Penalties got the best of us, I took the penalty at the end of the game and I take responsibility for that. It forced the game to overtime, and we looked at each other and knew that we've been in overtime a lot this year so it’s nothing new to us. We continued to play strong and came away with the win.” Kyle Harris
This weekend the JRFlyers will be at the Ice Line hosting the Connecticut RoughRiders. On Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 25-26), they were swept by the Wilkes Barre Scranton Knights losing by scores of 6-4/3-2. Last weekend (Dec. 1st) the RoughRiders were defeated by the New York Applecore 6-4. The RoughRiders would rebound with a win against division rival, Connecticut Oilers 3-1 on Sunday. It was a quick turnaround as the team had to be ready on Tuesday for a rematch with the Oilers. The Roughriders had no problem as they cruised to a 7-2 victory with six unanswered goals improving their record to 16-11-1. The Roughriders are the second highest scoring team in the league with 115 goals scored so the JRFlyers defense will have to be sharp in this series. The JRFlyers improved their record to 6-11-5 and are on a three-game win streak, and they’ll look to continue the upswing with a tough opponent coming to West Chester.
“We really need to focus on tightening up our defensive zone in practice this week. The offense will come, but we need to be tough on defense against them. (Roughriders)” Ruppe
On a different side of things, one JRFlyer took a step up for the weekend. Goaltender Dakota Delbridge was called up on an emergency basis to the New Jersey Titans of the NAHL (North American Hockey League). Delbridge packed his bags last Friday to join the team for Saturday and Sunday as the Titans took on the Johnstown Tomahawks. “I got a call from coach (Jerry Domish) at 10:30 on a Friday night, and my first thought was… well this can’t be good. I assumed I was being traded or something like that. Turns out, one of the goalies for the Titans got hurt and they needed an emergency backup to play with them for the weekend. I talked to Coach Jerry about it and I decided to go there, and it was a great opportunity for me, and I’m glad I went.” Delbridge started in Sunday’s game against the Tomahawks, things didn't go the way he planned but he got a first hand look at what Tier II action in the NAHL looked like. “There was such a higher IQ of the game there. The speed and the puck handling ability was a lot better. Trying to read the whole ice surface in the defensive zone for my part was a lot more difficult.” Off the ice, Delbridge was given grade A treatment despite being there for a limited time. “Coach Doremus is a great guy and brought me in and showed me the facilities. The locker room was setup, and the trainers had everything set for me. They are definitely a first-class organization.” Even though it was a short stint, and a brief opportunity at the next level, Delbridge was honored to be a part of it. “I want to thank both organizations for the opportunity. I’m glad I got the chance to go there, and if I get the chance again, I would love to go. It gives me more motivation for my current season with the JRFlyers to improve and get better since I got a taste of the next level.”
Saturday vs Roughriders 6:30pm
Sunday vs Roughriders 11am
By: Joe Sindoni
Director of Broadcasting
Play by Play Announcer