skip navigation

Little Flyers Stun Railers in OT Thriller

By Anthony Di Paolo - HNIB Beat Writer, 03/26/24, 11:15PM EDT


5-4 Win Gives PLF 1-0 Series Lead

Providence, RI -- Andrew Henry scored the overtime-winning goal as the Little Flyers defeated the Railers Jr. Hockey Club 5-4, taking a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Hockey Leagues semifinals.

Nick Storti tallied a pair of goals for Philadelphia, as the team won its first Frozen Finals game in Providence since 2019. Ronnie Petrucci was spectacular in net, making 41 saves as the Little Flyers were outshot by the Railers 45-21.

It was the fourth consecutive playoff game in which Petrucci faced 40 or more shots in a game and he has won every one of them.

“It’s fun facing a bunch of shots, I guess I got used to it. I know it’s coming, I know it’s going to happen but I’ve got the confidence in my team to pull out the win,” Petrucci said. “We all really came together as a team and locked it down.”

Storti opened the scoring six minutes and 42 seconds into the game with a wrist shot from the point, as he flung it through a maze of bodies in front. The play was under review as Storti caught the pass right on the blue line, and the officials confirmed the play was onside.

A few minutes later, the Little Flyers went on the power play where Storti doubled the lead, firing a wrist shot from the top of the point as it found its way past Railers goaltender Adam Casper.

The Railers were getting the lion’s share of the shots throughout the game, and they finally broke through as William Stephens skated down the left wing and took a shot that deflected off a defenseman’s stick and floated over Petrucci. Connor McAleer tied it up on the power play a few minutes later, as Jack Wineman won the faceoff back to McAleer, where he roofed a shot high-glove side.

Just 39 seconds into the third period, Wineman gave the Railers their first lead of the game. Marcus Chrisafidies wrapped around the net and slid a pass to Wineman, who hammered home a one-timer from point-blank range.

Philadelphia took the lead back with two goals later in the third period. Trevor Kruczek deflected a point shot from Brendan Johns to make it 3-3, then Jaeseok Lee netted a shorthanded goal to give the Little Flyers a 4-3 lead.

Throughout the final nine minutes of regulation, the Railers kept pushing for the tying goal, and it was Austin Jerzak who tied the game with 1.2 seconds left. Daniel Prazma set up Thor Hansen for a one-timer at the hash marks, and Jerzak buried the rebound to make it 4-4. 

Flyers head coach Mark Catron spoke about the Railers’ tying goal and how his team managed to bounce back for the overtime.

“I wanted to go in the locker room to make sure they weren’t so down that they forget they still have an overtime game to play here. They knew what to expect, and they’re such a good team; you can’t take a shift off against them,” Catron said.

It looked like the Railers won it 1:11 into the overtime as Chase Carney snapped a one-timer past Petrucci, but the puck hit the post, bounced off Andrew Henry’s shin pad and hit the apron of the net where it initially looked like it went in. After a quick review, it was confirmed the puck landed onto the net but never in the goal.

“The puck got stuck between the post and the outside of the net. I was a little scared they were going to call it in because there was no camera on that side, but I knew it was not in the net,” Petrucci said of the play.

Not long after the Railers’ near miss, Henry entered the zone on the power play and fired a shot blocker side to give the Little Flyers the 5-4 victory and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

The Little Flyers, who started the postseason in the play-in round and has won every game this postseason, will have an opportunity to complete the sweep on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Anthony Di Paolo

Anthony Di Paolo covers the EHL for HNIB and can be followed on Twitter @DiPaolo_016

Anthony Di Paolo has been working in various levels of hockey over the last five years, ranging from juniors to the pros. Di Paolo spent four seasons as the Communications Director and play-by-play announcer for the New Jersey Titans of the North American Hockey League (2016-2020), and is entering his fifth season in a similar role with the New Jersey 87’s of the Eastern Hockey League. Graduating from Seton Hall University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, the New Jersey native covered Division I athletics for his school’s radio station, WSOU, and spent two years writing for the Fischler Report, a newsletter run by U.S. Hockey Hall-of-Fame inductee Stan Fischler. In addition to writing features and player spotlights throughout the season, Anthony is a fixture on the weekly #EShow podcast.