The Philadelphia Little Flyers have star power
Allegedly, a curse exists for people or teams that appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. We’re pretty sure that getting mentioned in the EHL’s Weekly Top 5 is a good thing, but the jury is still out. Some of last week's Top 5 participants had good things happen; some had bad things happen; some streaks stayed alive, some streaks were broken; some scoring droughts ended, some scoring droughts started. We mostly just wanted to put ourselves in the same paragraph with Sports Illustrated ... check.
Now on to new edition of the EHL Weekly Top 5!
Now on to new edition of the EHL Weekly Top 5!
5 Same Streak, New League Leader: The New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs only played once this week, but a 4-2 win over the Boston Bandits on Oct. 23 ran their win streak to an EHL season-long eight games, while they grabbed the overall EHL lead with a winning percentage of .857 (12-2-0-0). The Monarchs haven’t dropped a game since Sept. 22 when Wilkes-Barre claimed a 1-0 victory in Hooksett. New Hampshire gets it done at both ends of the ice and on special teams -- they rank first in Power Play Percentage (29.63), second in Penalty Kill Percentage (89.39), second in Goals Against Per Game (2.00) and third in Goals Per Game (4.64). The streak -- and possibly EHL Game of the Week -- will be Nov. 2 when the Central Division-leading Oilers travel to Hooksett for their first match-up of the season. No charge to the Hooksett Chamber of Commerce for mixing "Hooksett" into a paragraph four times.
4 Coaching Change: The New Jersey Titans, who started the season 3-8-0-0, made a coaching change last Sunday with hopes of turning things around in the tightly contested EHL South Division. George Haviland, Jr. is the interim head coach, and he promptly led the Titans to a 6-1 win over New York Applecore on Wednesday. The Haviland family helped start the Titans non-profit organization years ago, with George Haviland’s father, George Sr., as the patriarch of the club. The hockey roots run deep with the Havilands as George’s younger brother, Mike, is a former Titans coach who can be found behind the bench as head coach of the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears. Mike was an assistant with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks for four years and was part of the Stanley Cup-winning squad in 2010. While George Jr. hasn't been behind the bench for a while, he is fully entrenched in the hockey rink business and the Titans, on a daily basis, so the transition has been smooth.
3a USA Junior Hockey Rulebook Online Seminar: This test contains only one question but the Top 5 suggests taking a short break after reading this and spending some time studying the Junior Rulebook. Come back fresh, ready to finish reading and ready to answer the question below. In the third period of Wednesday’s Monarchs-Bandits game, with New Hampshire leading by one, the Monarchs got a shot on net and a scramble ensued for the rebound. During the 11-man scrum it was determined that two penalties had taken place – one on the Monarchs for roughing and one on the Bandits for a player covering the puck in the crease. Can you figure out the options for handling these penalties?
2 The Hartford Jr. Wolfpack hosted their “Play For The Cure” game on October 26 when the Revolution visited Cromwell, Conn. Many teams, in many different sports and many different ages, stage “Play For The Cure” events each October to raise awareness of cancer and to help raise money for cancer research. The Wolfpack, however, went the extra mile – literally – when they also participated in New Haven’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. The Wolfpack players wore their uniforms, participated in the walk, participated in the Zumba event and handed out fliers for their upcoming Play For The Cure game. At this time the Top 5 has not yet acquired video footage of Wolfpack head coach Chris Cerrella taking part in the Zumba workout ... but we're working on it. The week’s events, culminating with their victory over the Revolution, were especially meaningful to the Wolfpack family as numerous players and team officials have had family members affected by cancer. Lori McCarthy, the wife of Dan McCarthy, who heads up the Wolfpack’s hockey operations, is a recent breast cancer survivor and all in the Wolfpack organization have had an upfront experience with the battle during her treatment.
3b The options for this situation would have been (1) for Monarchs head coach Ryan Frew to elect to take the penalty shot, then play a man down for two minutes due to his team's minor penalty. Since a penalty shot is always an option -- meaning you don't have to take the shot -- Frew elected to (2) exercise his freedom of choice and take the minor penalty on the Bandits. This meant the two minors became coincidental and the teams continued to play 5-on-5. Coaching sanity would suggest 99.9 percent of the time that a coach should take the penalty shot, but there's an exception to every rule. The Monarchs eventually pulled out the 4-2 victory, validating Coach Frew’s exception-al choice.
1 Last week’s Weekly Top 5 covered the Philadelphia Little Flyers’ defensive prowess, in contrast with their then-inability to put the puck in the net. We don’t want to put too much stock in the Top 5, lest we hurt our shoulders patting ourselves on the back (see the opening paragraph of this Top 5 ... Sports Illustrated ... just sayin'), but apparently the Little Flyers players were charged up about the column and went on an offensive tear. The winners of all three games played this week, the Little Flyers continued their miserly defensive play by allowing only one goal in the three contests, including a 5-0 shutout of offensive juggernaut Northern Cyclones who were averaging 6.22 goals per game heading into Sunday’s contest. More impressively the Little Flyers lit the lamp 15 times during those three games, led by Jesse MacIntyre (5g-2a-7pts) and Zach Felser (1g-5a-6pts). "I thought our guys did a great job of getting to the dirty areas," said head coach Rocky Russo in referencing last week's goal-scoring barrage. "We drove the net well and capitalized on some second and third opportunities. We had some great off-pad rebound goals, we played physical and finished all our checks." Alec Derks and TJ Black continued their stellar play between the pipes as they are currently riding a 60-minute, 50-second shutout streak. They combined for 69 saves on 70 shots (.986) during the week. The wins pushed the Little Flyers into second place in the EHL South with a 6-4-1-0 record. They trail the Rockets by five points but have four games in hand.
From The EHL website