The New Jersey 87’s are the EHLP 2021 Champs. They won the EHL Premier Frozen Final Championship Game in a convincing manner, controlling the third period after the Railers Jr Hockey Club made a game of it by scoring 2 quick goals late in the second to get it to 3-2. Hugh McGuigan, who led the team in scoring during the playoffs, scored early in the third to make it 4-2 which eased the tension a little for the 87’s until a penalty shot was called on a Ben Peiffer delayed of game penalty with six and a half minutes left in the game. Goalie Cole Moore, who won the Frozen Final MVP, came up with a big glove save which dampened any comeback thoughts by the Railers.
Michael LoRicco had the first tally that was the only score in the first period. He then added one in the second and was followed by Hugh McGuigan’s first of the game, which ended up being the game winner, before the Railers made a comeback with two goals in the last two minutes of the second, one each by Jayden Blackburn and Jake Barcelou to make it 3-2 at the end of two. This led to the third period where McGuigan came up big and Moore came up even bigger to keep the 87’s in control of the game with a 4-2 lead with just over 6 minutes left in the game. Damion Williams closed out the scoring with a power play goal at 16:42 of the third to make the final 5-2.
The 87’s got to the final with a 3-0 win on Saturday over the Lumberjacks Hockey Club as Cole Moore kept everything in front of him making 28 saves for the shut out. Luke Satkowski, Patrick DeMarinis, and Damion Williams scored goals as each aspect of the offense was represented, short handed, even strength and power play respectively. The game was an action filled event with the 87’s not getting the third goal until late in the third period. The 87’s beat the New Jersey Renegades in the third round of the playoffs to get to the Frozen Final.
The 87’s led the South Division of the EHLP for most of the season and had the fourth overall best record for the year. It is the second consecutive year that they led their division during the regular season. They did lead the league in all specialty team play including power play goals, power play assists, shorthanded goals (tied), and shorthanded assists. As a team the 87’s were very balanced with seven players with double digit goals and seventeen in double digit points in this shortened and peculiar season.
The 87’s was led on the offensive side this season by Ivan Borisov with a line of 19-22-41. The Metuchen NJ native also led the team in power play points and game winning goals and was named to the All-EHLP Second Team. On the blue line Ben Peiffer led the D-Men with a 6-22-28 line and was named to the All-EHLP First Team for his play in both ends of the ice. Middletown North alum goalie Matt Corella led the team in wins and goals against pct with 10 and 2.85 respectively and recorded the teams only regular season shutout.
Feature images caption: The NJ 87’s are the 2021 Eastern Hockey League Premier Champs after the New Jersey 87’s vs Railer Jr Hockey Club EHLP Frozen Final Championship at Ice Line Sports Complex, West Chester, PA. 3/28/21. Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com
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