The JRFlyers ended the 2017-18 EHL Premier season with authority. After losing to their Conference Rival, the New Jersey 87s on February 10th, the JRFlyers went on an eight game win streak which propelled them to the number one seed in the Southern Conference. The JRFlyers finished the season with a 34-5-5 record with 73 points. The only team above them in the league is the Boston Jr. Rangers who are the number one seed in the Northern Conference with a season record of 37-4-3 with 77 points.
Last weekend the JRFlyers were on the road to take on the rival Philadelphia Revolution. The season series heading into the weekend against them was 1-2-1. Despite already having the number one seed locked up, the JRFlyers were taking the final weekend seriously. The first game saw 25 total penalties called as the JRFlyers hung on for the 2-1 win while Colella made 18 saves in net (Pacitti, Tremblay with goals). In the season finale the JRFlyers dominated from start to finish. Powered by a hat trick from William Smith, and two goals by Kyle Washkalavitch the JRFlyers won 10-3 as Savino picked up the win in goal making 22 saves.
The EHL Premier Division Playoffs are a little different this year as opposed to last season. In last years playoffs it was a Round Robin Format in the Northern/Southern Conferences and the winner of their respective Conference played in the Championship. The JRFlyers were eliminated by the Revolution who went on to win the title last year.
The playoffs this year is different and has already begun. On Tuesday the Philadelphia Little Flyers hosted the New Jersey Renegades in a “Play In” game. The Little Flyers were the #4 Seed while the Renegades were the #5 seed. The winner heads to the Ice Line to take on the JRFlyers. Down 2-1 in the 3rd, the Little Flyers tied the game midway through the period 2-2. The contest headed to overtime, and just three minutes in the Renegades would go on to win 3-2 and they now have their sites set for the Ice Line.
The JRFlyers swept the season series against the Renegades and won all four meetings. In the four games the JRFlyers have outscored them 22-8. The wins breakdown as: 5-3, 7-1, 6-3, 4-1. The JRFlyers never trailed in any of the four meetings this season. The leading scorers against the Renegades are:
Aughey 3G-3A // Brown 6A // Sucher 3G-2A // Meisinger 2G-3A // Washkalavitch 1G-4A.
Already mentioned, but the JRFlyers ended their season on an eight game win streak and are 9-1 in the final 10 games. The Renegades went 6-4 to end the season, before defeating the Little Flyers in OT on Tuesday.
The other playoff game in the Southern Conference game is the Philadelphia Revolution and the New Jersey 87s. The 87s are the home team but that game isn’t scheduled until Monday night at 8pm. The winner of that game plays the winner of JRFlyers and Renegades in the Southern Conference Finals in a best of three series.
Time for some numbers!
Renegades Leading Scorers
Alec Dugan: 29 goals, 27 assists – 56 points
Nick Graziano: 26 goals, 15 assists – 41 points
Scott Schnell: 10 goals, 24 assists – 34 points
Jon Kwestel: 12 goals, 17 assists – 29 points
Anthony Zito: 18 goals, 7 assists – 25 points
JRFlyers Leading Scorers
Dave Tremblay 15 games with JRFlyers 9 goals, 10 assists 19 points (Overall 37-27 for 64pts)
Matt Wood: 28 goals, 32 assists – 60 points
Charlie Carsello: 23 goals, 25 assists – 48 points
Kyle Washkalavitch: 22 goals, 25 assists – 47 points
DJ Sucher: 21 goals, 24 assists – 45 points
Jake Lakatos: 12-11, GAA 2.84, Save % .915
Justin Padilla: 10-20, GAA 3.67, Save % .916
AJ Colella: 14-4-1, GAA 2.82, Save % .892
Tyler Savino: 11-5, GAA 3.31, Save % .875
Grainger Rickenbaker: 9-0, GAA 2.23, Save % .906
Total Goals forced: JRFlyers 261 / Renegades 162
Goals Allowed: JRFlyers 127 / Renegades 143
In Coach Skalski’s second season as HC the JRFlyers are back in the playoffs and ready to make an impact, and he reflected on the run late in the season. “We started to focus on little things to make us better. We wanted to get on a nice run to gain momentum heading into the playoffs.” The JRFlyers swept the Revolution to end the season. Despite not being able to move in the Standings, it was a big weekend. “It meant a lot for the team. We wanted to make a statement, that we’re not just going to come in and lose games, but we are trying to win the championship. Everyone was on the same page and playing the right way,” said Skalski.
One of the reasons the JRFlyers caught fire in the second half of the season is the new additions wearing orange and black. It certainly gave the JRFlyers depth and made them a dangerous team in all phases of the game. “Anytime you can add top scorers in the league to your team it’s definitely going to help your team. It took some time for Tremblay and Smith to build chemistry and get the systems down, but once they did they’ve been on fire. Now they're on a line with Matt Wood who’s another great scorer and the three of them have been playing well. (Marcus) Cook is a physical and hardworking player and he does the little things right. He adds depth at the center position. Sam (Pitonyak) is a huge help on defense because he is a natural defenseman. We’ve been short on defense for a while but having him is a big help.”
The JRFlyers also have a solid core of veterans on the team including: Tommy Aughey, Tyler Johnson, Charlie Carsello, Justin Brown and Tyler Savino. Leadership is key especially when the playoffs come around. “They are going to be huge, and they have been all year. Charlie, and Aughey not only have been vocal leaders but they’ve led by example as well. Charlie always brings energy to the game. Aughey settles the team down when he has too and keeps things in control. I'm confident in Savino, or AJ in net, we have a great group of returners this year and this team is confident,” said Skalski.
The JRFlyers ended the season on a great run, now the games are even more magnified. In the last month the JRFlyers added depth on both sides of the ice and it had paid off. Now the postseason has arrived and the JRFlyers are looking for continued success.
Saturday vs New Jersey Renegades 7:15pm at Ice Line
By: Joe Sindoni
Director of Broadcasting