PROVIDENCE, RI — With a strong fan showing of Laconia faithful in attendance, the New England Wolves defeated the Philadelphia Little Flyers 4-2, to win the 2018-19 Eastern Hockey League Premier Championship.
“It took time, but this team learned how to win,” Wolves’ EHLP Head Coach Andrew Trimble said. “They came together at the right time. Incredibly proud of what they accomplished.”
Held at Schneider Arena on the campus of Providence College, the EHLP championship pitted the Southern Conference Champion Little Flyers versus the Northern Conference Champion Wolves in a one-game, winner-take-all showdown.
The Wolves had swept the CT Chiefs and Boston Jr. Rangers in earlier series to earn the championship final appearance.
In period 1, Wolves’ captain Jack Johansen scored first. The 2000-birth year defender from New Hampshire, was awarded “Defenseman of the Year” in the EHLP earlier this week.
In period 2, the Little Flyers took the lead, 2-1, but the Wolves would not be deterred.
In period 3, Herbert Ziebots tied the game at two midway through the period, before EHLP Finals MVP, Alex Carpenter, would bury two successive goals, as the Wolves would claim the 4-2 victory.
Ryan Fueg was stellar in nets again, earning his fifth victory of the post-season.
Trimble, the EHLP Coach of the Year, said defeating the defending champion Boston Jr. Rangers, 6-2, in the semifinals was the push the Wolves needed to capture their first-ever EHLP championship.
“Facing the defending champs, Jr. Rangers, was a huge challenge for our group so we changed our daily plan to prepare for them,” Trimble said. “For the whole week prior we had open ice time at 9am, then at 10am we ran through the opposing team’s systems on the ice each day be it PP, PK or 5-vs-5. Film at 11am. Workout at 11:30am and then on-ice practice at 1:15pm. We did this for the full five days leading up to the Rangers series and it resulted in a sweep. That was a huge confidence boost for our group. We continued that in prepping for the Little Flyers.”
Trimble said Garth Wickham and Jack Johansen did a great job leading the team throughout the playoffs while Fueg was unbelievable in net noting Carpenter was the clear-cut MVP in the finals.
“Contributions from everybody in our room,” Trimble said. “It’s huge for our organization to win and special for this team to go down as champions. They persevered and deserved it.”
“Wolves ownership would like to thank all of our fans both young and old for all their support throughout this post-season,” Wolves’ EHL Head Coach Tim Kunes added. “Thank you to our players, parents, sponsors and supporters.” BOX SCORE
CARPENTER SCORES GAME-WINNER LATE IN THE 3RD PERIOD
After jumping out to a 1-0, the Wolves fell behind following a pair of unanswered goals from the Little Flyers. The team showed no panic however, as they tied up the score early in the final frame, and then Alex Carpenter scored back-to-back goals en route to the victory. The Wolves finished the postseason with a perfect 5-0-0 record, all while outscoring their opponents by a 23-10 margin.
Wolves 1 — Little Flyers 0
In the opening frame, the Wolves managed to get on the board first, by means of a broken play. After a pass redirected to the stick of Jack Johansen, the 2018-19 Defenseman of the Year didn’t miss as he fired a shot past Graham Burke from the high slot at the 15:09 mark of the period, to give the Wolves in early lead. Both Jonah Pickens and Nathan Severance were credited with assists on the goal.
WOLVES 1 — LITTLE FLYERS 1
It didn’t take the Little Flyers much time in the 2nd period to tie things up, as Brett Turner knotted the score just 32 seconds into the frame. Turner took the puck virtually end to end, and then slid the puck through the five-hole of Ryan Fueg. Austin Mazzulo had the lone assist on the goal.
LITTLE FLYERS 2 — WOLVES 1
Fast-forward to just near the halfway mark of the frame, and Philadelphia was able to beat Fueg to the same exact spot. Luke Headman was the scorer this time, after he received a nice breakaway pass from Nick Bouchard. With 10:05 remaining in the 2nd period, the Little Flyers had their first lead of the contest.
WOLVES 2 — LITTLE FLYERS 2
As mentioned before, the Wolves showed no fear, as they came out and dominated the 3rd period. Herberts Zeibots knotted up the game up at 2-2, after converting on a chance from the slot at the 14:00 minute mark of the period. Both Sam Danais and Alex Carpenter collected assists on the goal.
WOLVES 3 — LITTLE FLYERS 2
Carpenter was just getting started, as a little less than 10 minutes later, Sam Danais sprung the Wolves’ top scorer on a breakaway. Following the incredible feed, Carpenter beat Burke just over the glove, and the Wolves were back on top.
WOLVES 4 — LITTLE FLYERS 2
The icing on the cake then came with just 0.7 seconds left, as Carpenter sealed the deal with an empty-net tally, and a 4-2 victory for the Wolves.
A SEASON THEY’LL NEVER FORGET
After starting the regular season with wins in their first seven games, the Wolves were dealt their first loss by the Little Flyers way back on October 7th. It’s safe to say New England remembered the 11-3 defeat they were handed that day, and then went out and earned their revenge in the biggest game of the season.
— EHLP (@EHLpremier) March 24, 2019
EHLP Coach of the Year
— EHLP (@EHLpremier) March 21, 2019
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