JR Flyers 14U Girls are heading to Nationals this week after winning the Atlantic District Championship and finishing the season at 33-20-2, which has earned them a ranking of #18 for USA Girls 14U Tier 1.
The JR Flyers pool play starts Thursday morning vs. the 4th ranked Detroit Little Caesars at New England Sports Center in Marlborough, MA. The team skated to a hard-fought 3-1 loss to Little Caesars back in October at the 2Nations tournament in Detroit, MI. Other teams in their pool are Chicago Young Americans (#6) and Dallas Jr. Stars (#21).
This is the JR Flyers Girls programs’ first appearance at USA Hockey Nationals since their program inception in 2015-16. Congratulations and best of luck to the players/coaches in Marlborough!
USA Hockey recap can be found here: https://nationals.usahockey.com/news_article/show/903582?referrer_id=3809594
PHOTO CREDIT: JUSTINA YOST
Last week the JRFlyers took on the rival Philadelphia Revolution for the right to go to Rhode Island for the EHL Frozen Finals. Unlike the rest of the playoffs, this was a best of three game series to see who would move on. After going 3-2-1 in the regular season against the Revolution, the JRFlyers were looking for two more wins.
The JRFlyers got the offense started early with a power play chance. Tremblay sent a shot on goal from the top of the faceoff circle. (G) Shrum made the save but Smith would send the rebound into the net on the powerplay for the 1-0 lead. The JRFlyers were threatening near the midway point of the period. Cook had the puck behind the net and skated into the slot. He fired a shot that was saved by (G) Shrum but Dougherty was there for the rebound making it 2-0. In the 2nd period the JRFlyers continued to score. On the rush, with a two on one, Carsello skated into the offensive zone with Bianchi. Carsello would slide the puck across and Bianchi on the backhand gave the JRFlyers a 3-0 lead. Just a few minutes later the Revolution were setting up in the offensive zone. They would turn the puck over at the blue line and Dougherty would skate ahead and rip a shot past Shrum at it was 4-0. The JRFlyers would continue to score and (G) Shrum was sent to the bench and Simmerman came into the game. The JRFlyers ended the 2nd period with a 6-1 lead. In the 3rd, the onslaught continued and when the final horn sounded the JRFlyers would win 12-1. Colella would stop 28-29 shots in the victory.
Right near the midway point of the 1st period Dougherty made his way around the Revolution defense and sent the shot by (G) Shrum giving the JRFlyers a 1-0 lead. Just a few minutes later Carsello raced into the offensive zone. He sent an angle shot on net and Washkalavitch would send the rebound to the net and the JRFlyers had a 2-0 lead. The 2nd period was all about the Revolution responding. The Revolution would send two even strength goals and a 5 on 3 powerplay goal past (G) Savino and take a 3-2 lead. In the 3rd the Revolution would score their fourth straight goal and extended the lead 4-2. Late in the period Carsello would setup Troy in front of the net which cut the deficit 4-3. The JRFlyers sent out the extra attacker but the Revolution would keep them off the board and hang on for the win.
“We won 12-1 the first game and then we had a 2-0 lead, we thought we had this game in the bag and took our foot off the gas. They are a good team and took advantage of that.” Johnson
The JRFlyers got off to a great start early in the game. Dougherty flipped a shot on goal and crashing the net was Marcus Cook to shove the rebound by (G) Shrum to give the JRFlyers 1-0 lead. The JRFlyers kept up the momentum and earned another offensive faceoff. Anton won the draw back to the point where Tyler Johnson would blast the puck to the net and it was 2-0 JRFlyers less than five minutes into the game. The JRFlyers would get into penalty trouble and the Revolution would take advantage and send a power play goal past (G) Colella and it was 2-1 ending the period. In the 2nd, the Revolution were setting up in the offensive zone. The shot from the point was blocked. Justin Brown got to the puck and connected to Kevin Troy for the breakaway and he buried the shot top shelf for the 3-1 lead. It only took :18 as the JRFlyers continued the offensive burst and Matt Wood sent a one timer pass that was fired in by Tremblay and it was 4-1. The intense pressure led to another JRFlyers power play and Johnson would pick up his second goal of the day for the 5-1 lead. Just when it looked like things were wrapped up, the Revolution would respond with two goals to regain momentum but the JRFlyers were up 5-3. The JRFlyers would get off to another quick start to the 3rd period. Tremblay won an offensive faceoff to Bianchi at the point. Bianchi would shoot the puck and it was redirected in by Tremblay for the 6-3 lead. About five minutes later, Matt Wood finished off a pass from Smith and the JRFlyers extended the lead 7-3. The Revolution would empty the net for the extra attacker but Washkalavitch would send the final goal into the empty net as the JRFlyers won 8-3. Colella made 19 saves and picked up the win in goal.
“The boys made my job easy for the game. The defense played great and blocked shots and contained their best players.” Colella
“We were prepared coming into this game and as a team we knew that losing wasn’t an option. We were focused. This team has a never quit attitude and a hard work ethic. We may not be the most skilled team, but we will sure give you a game no matter what.” Aughey
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and there is a reason they made it this far as well. One of the keys to us winning was our offensive power that we have through all four of our lines and being able to stay out of the box.” Head Coach Brett Skalski
The stage is set for the Championship on Sunday against the Boston Jr. Rangers. The Rangers also went to three games as they defeated the Vermont Lumberjacks. The Rangers took game one 5-1 led by a hattrick from Sean Sullivan and a win in net from Spencer Krul (35 saves). The Lumberjacks would come right back with a 3-0 shutout win to force Game 3. Steve Wesley led the Rangers with 1G 2A and a 4-1 win to send the Rangers to the Finals. Goaltender Dean Kern made 41 saves in the victory.
The JRFlyers and Rangers have met twice throughout the regular season, and both games were exciting. The first meeting was way back in September. The JRFlyers were down 2-1 in the 3rd period but in the final minute tied the game on the power play. Just thirteen second into overtime the JRFlyers would score and win 3-2 as Savino picked up the win in net. The second and final meeting was in November. It was at the Showcase, so it was two 25 minute halves. Down 4-2 the JRFlyers fought back with goals by Carsello and Sucher to tie the game 4-4. Another overtime but instead it was the Rangers picking up the win and a 5-4 victory.
JRFlyers – Rangers Overview
Record Regular Season: JRFlyers 34-5-5 Rangers 37-4-3
Goals Forced/Goals Allowed: JRFlyers 261/127 Rangers 216/80
Postseason: JRFlyers 26/10 Rangers 16/7
Leading Postseason Scorers
JRFlyers – Matt Wood 2G 5A, Tyler Johnson 4G 2A, Matt Dougherty 4G 2A, Marcus Cook 2G 4A, Charlie Carsello 1G 4A
Rangers – Danila Larionovs 4G 2A, Steve Wesley, 1G 4A, Will Roberts 2G 2A Sean Sullivan 3G, John Fowler 1G 2A
JRFlyers: AJ Colella 3-0, GAA 1.67, Save % .932 // Tyler Savino 0-1, GAA 4.00, Save % .857
Rangers: Dean Kern 2-0, GAA 1.50, Save % .952 // Spencer Krul 1-1 GAA 1.50, Save % .957
It has been a great year for the JRFlyers as all eyes are on Sunday’s matchup in Providence for the EHL Frozen Finals. In his second year Head Coach Brett Skalski is confident is his team heading into the big game: “I think what makes us successful, is our teamwork. I hate to say that because it sounds cliché, but when we work as a five-man unit we move the puck well and have great team speed and we generate a lot of offense from that. It will be a great game because both teams match up really well. We are almost identical when it comes to record, goals for, goals against. Both games in the regular season went to overtime and I’m sure it will be another tight contest.”
Sunday March 25th 10am vs Boston Jr. Rangers at Schneider Arena
By: Joe Sindoni
Director of Broadcasting
Play by Play Announcer
PHOTO CREDIT: JUSTINA YOST
Connor Lenaghan is heading to the NCAA. The ’98 birthyear from Arlington, VA has committed to play DIII College Hockey at Becker College in Worcester, MA. This was Lenaghan’s first year with the JRFlyers.
Sending players off to College is a main priority for all junior programs, and Lenaghan talked about his time with the JRFlyers. “I want to thank Coach Jerry and Jerramie and my teammates for being supportive of me this year and helping me adjust to the EHL level. I learned a lot from the older guys like (Dennis) Ruppe and (Drew) Platt. We had some hard times, but we came together as a group and worked hard. I had a great time here and I learned a lot. This experience has helped me mature on and off the ice. My hockey IQ has definitely expanded in my time here.”
While attending Becker, Lenaghan plans to study Business, and he has set goals while at Becker. “I want to help the team the best I can. I want to contribute with my speed and hard work ethic. I want to be a team player and help out any way I can.”
Head Coach Jerry Domish had a front row seat as he saw Lenaghan grow with the JRFlyers. “He has come a long way. At the beginning, his hockey knowledge was limited, and he struggled on defense. I feel he is a much more complete player now. He has a much better hockey IQ and his defense has improved so much that he was given PK time down the stretch. Connor is a very dedicated player who puts in a lot of time working on improving his game. He is never satisfied with who he is as a player. Connor will bring great speed and will probably start off as an energy guy at Becker. Once he gets comfortable with his surroundings he will be a great forechecker and defensive player who occasionally chips in on the scoreboard.”
College is the next step for Lenaghan but he also wanted to thank those who’ve helped along the way. “I want to thank Coach Jerry and Jerramie for pushing me to become a better player. They have helped me completely change as a hockey player. I’ve gotten physically stronger and mentally tougher. I want to thank everyone at our gym (HPATC) for our training. I want to thank the older guys, Ruppe, and Platt for being good roommates and helping me along my journey.”
Congratulations Connor on a successful Junior Hockey Career. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the JRFlyers. Next stop, NCAA but you’ll always be part of the JRFlyers.
By Joe Sindoni
Director of Broadcasting
Play by Play Announcer