Note: This is an updated version of an article that appeared in the March 2018 print edition of USA Junior Hockey Magazine.
ASTON, PA -- In late January, Philadelphia Little Flyers veteran forward Joey Savel bypassed the previous EHL scoring record, posting 87 points at the time.
He made the new record even tougher to chase, finishing the regular season with 96 points.
Savel’s only happiness that comes with that record is that his scoring has helped the Little Flyers have another amazing year. They were in a close fight for the Mid-Atlantic Division title, and have already won their first round match-up in the playoffs.
“The scoring record is pretty cool, but my goal is to win championships for my team,” said Savel, a ’97 from Sterling Heights, Mich. “I’m glad I can help my team.”
He is on a line that produced 226 total points for the Little Flyers this year. His linemates are Alex Ochterbeck (88 points) and Ryan Galvin (42 points).
“Me and Alex’s chemistry has helped us the most. Last year, we were on the same line for most of the season,” said Savel. “Ryan is great. He’s a power forward and he meshes very well with me and Alex.”
As an added bonus, Savel made his college commitment to Utica College official on March 10.
“Joey is tremendously skilled, and he sees the ice better than anyone I’ve seen in this league,” added head coach George Lewis. “He competes hard and wants to win more than anyone, and that skill just puts him over the top. He can make plays other guys have no business making.”
Savel feels like he’s had an embarrassment of riches, in terms of coaching these last two years since joining Philadelphia from the Belle Tire 18U program out of Detroit.
“I definitely think my game has improved and I’ve gotten stronger. I’ve learned a bunch from [former head coach Rocky] Russo, Mark Catron and George,” he said.
He also credited the EHL as a whole with providing such a development-rich proving ground.
“The EHL has a lot of talent in it, and I like to think I’m getting college attention from the success my team is having in that league,” he added.
Savel will be crucial to the Little Flyers’ pursuit of a championship, especially after reaching the finals the last two seasons.
“Our goal is to be the best we’ve been all season when the playoffs begin March 9,” said Lewis. “We want to reach Providence College, and once there, win a championship.”