The Philadelphia Junior Flyers bring a season full of variety to the EHL Premier championships.
By Joshua Boyd
They also bring the experience of their own long winning streak from during the regular season. They won 14 games to end the regular season, and 22 of their final 23 – the only loss out of that 23 games being in overtime.
“The confidence is pretty high. The kids have been believing since December when we went on that huge roll,” said Junior Flyers general manager/head coach Jerry Domish. “We didn’t lose one game in regulation until the second round of the playoffs since Dec. 11.
“A lot of those were close games, comebacks, overtime games,” Domish added. “They got into the habit of winning games.”
The Junior Flyers swept the Hartford Jr. Wolfpack by a 2-0 score, and won their first game against their East Coast Wizards. On March 18, however the Wizards broke the Junior Flyers’ 17-game winning streak, defeating the Junior Flyers 3-2 and leaving them – after all that success – one game from the golf course.
Like so many games before that day, the Junior Flyers just got down to business in Game 3 of that quarterfinal series. By the end of that first period, the Junior Flyers were up 3-1. They won it 4-1, and they continued on.
In the league semifinals, they eliminated the defending champion New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs in a 2-0 sweep. Their statement win was an 8-3 victory over New Hampshire in the deciding game.
“That game looks like a blow-out, but they were beating us 3-1 until about eight minutes left in the second,” said Domish. “We scored four goals in the last eight minutes of the second period. We struggled the whole first half, like the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl team.
“It’s because they’re all one. No one is interested in being the star, everyone is just playing together,” added Domish. “They’ll come to the bench and say ‘it’s my mistake, I’ll get it back.’”
Goalie Mac Vail came over from the Connecticut Oilers in mid-November and went 17-2-1 for the Junior Flyers in the regular season. He was 9-1 in the playoffs so far.
“He’s been solid, he’s been playing terrific,” added Domish. “We had six returning starters, but two are injured, but we have four of those returning starters still playing, two are in their third year with us [Josh Hinderliter and Chris Butryn].”
“In the finals, they have to just play like it’s any other game,” Domish said.
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