Short Shifts around the EShow
It has been a jam-packed January in the Eastern Hockey League coming out of the holiday break. Teams continue to jostle for playoff positions as the playoffs are looming in early March.
Let’s take a look at some of the top storylines from the month of January in the EHL and EHLP.
Apple Core taking Central stage
· New York Apple Core is currently the hottest team in the league, as they earned their 12th straight win after shutting out the New Jersey 87’s on Wednesday, 5-0.
· Just to put this turnaround season in perspective; their winning streak alone has matched their win totals from the 2020-2021 season and 2021-2022 season.
· There is a plethora of players who have broken out in Brewster this season; Nick Sweet, Peter Unger and Gleb Ushakov are all in the top 20 for points among EHL players. But their recent tear can be attributed to some of their mid-season acquisitions.
· Ryan Crowshaw, who was traded from the Connecticut Chiefs, has been stellar in net for New York. He is 10-0-0 with a 1.71 goals against average, a .950 save percentage and a pair of shutouts since joining Apple Core.
· Around that same time, they added ’04 forward Luke Golisano, and he has 21 points (10g, 11a) in 14 games with the team. Lenny Caglianone has already done a remarkable job turning around Apple Core, and these roster additions will make New York a Frozen Finals contender.
Avalanche ruling the North
· The New Hampshire Avalanche have also been playing stellar hockey as of late; a 5-2 win over the Seacoast Spartans on Thursday extended their winning streak to eight games and they now have an 11-point lead in the North Division.
· The Avs have never had trouble scoring, but acquiring David Basin from the Spartans has made their offense lethal. The ’04 forward has 19 points (12g, 7a) in 10 games since joining the Avs, and the team overall has scored five or more goals in five of their eight wins.
· New Hampshire’s big test will come on January 30 when they have another matchup against their long-time foe in the Boston Jr. Rangers.
· Boston is 2-0-0 against the Avs this season, and they walked away with a 3-1 victory in the Newington Showcase in December. That also happened to be the last loss for New Hampshire before going on an eight-game heater, so Basin and the rest of the Avs’ skaters will look to carry that momentum in their final regular season matchup against the defending champs.
Wizards atop the East
· On Tuesday the East Coast Wizards knocked down the Railers with a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory. George Kolovos scored the game-winning goal and put the Wizards at the top of the East Division with a 22-7-4 record.
· Aiden O’Connell has 33 points (18g, 15a) in 18 games with the Wizards. He also has 12 points in their first six games this month including a goal and an assist against the Railers.
· As of this writing, the Wizards are one of two teams in the EHL with over 100 goals scored and 100 goals given up (the other team is the Spartans). Their differential is still plus-27, so the offense is getting the job done for the top team in the East.
The Amazing (South Division) Race
· It’s tough to focus on one team in the South, 11 points separate first place and sixth, and three teams have 17 wins as of this writing.
· The Philadelphia Little Flyers have won five straight, and Jack Costabile continues to rack up points from the blue line.
· During their winning streak, the Little Flyers have scored five power-play goals and Costabile notched a goal or assist on all five of them.
· Team Maryland is on a four-game point streak, going 3-0-1 in that span. They’re now third in the South and just one point behind the New Jersey 87’s.
· Jake Hugessen has been excellent since his trade to Maryland; he is 5-3-0 with a 1.83 goals against average and .954 save percentage.
Around the EHLP
· The Railers are lighting the Premier Division on fire with a 28-3-0 record. They started 2024 with a 4-1 loss to the Express but responded by winning their next four. The team scored five or more goals in each of those wins.
· The longest active winning streak belongs to the Pennsylvania Huntsmen; they’re currently on a 10-game heater. At 22-6-1, they sit first in the Mid-Atlantic Division.
· Speaking of sophomore teams, the Adirondack Jr. Thunder are first in the New England Division with a 21-5-4 record.
· Six different players for Adirondack are in the top 20 for scoring, Cole Davidson leads the pack with 50 points (26g, 24a) in 30 games.
· New Jersey 87’s forward Ivan Borisov set the EHLP record for career goals with 83, passing former New Jersey Renegade Nick Graziano. Borisov happened to break the record against the Renegades, and Nick’s father, Cliff, was on the opposing bench.