Youth Movement in Full Force

Two Teams going nowhere matched up at the Wells Fargo Center. The Columbus Blue Jackets (39-32-6) snapped their seven-game losing streak with a 4-2 defeat of the 22-37-11 Philadelphia Flyers. Both squads have entered into a “youth Movement” in preparation for next season. The youth movement was on center stage in this one.

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To the Game

Columbus scored first when Brendan Gaunce notched his 5th of the season with helpers going to Carson Meyer (his first NHL point in just his second game ) and Eric Robinson. The goal came at the 2:38 mark. No sooner than Columbus retrieved the goal for Meyer, the youngster added his first NHL goal at 13:23 with help from Zach Werenski and the second of the period from Robinson.

“I’ll probably put it in my dad’s man cave in the basement, I owe it to him to give him that puck. It can go right next to his Cincinnati Bengals towel.” Meyer gushed.

Not to be upstaged, the heralded Noah Cates, recently joining the team when Minnesota-Duluth was eliminated from the NCAA tournament, scored his first NHL goal to cut it to a 2-1 affair with 2:25 left in the period.

“It’s been a lifelong dream to score that goal and it was a pretty big goal for us, We’ve been playing pretty well this period and to get on the board is huge.” Cates explained

That signaled the end of the scoring in the first with Columbus netminder, Elvis Merzlikens stopping 16 Flyers shots.

To the Second

The middle stanza only witnessed one goal. James van Riemsdyk supplied it with his 18th set up by Kevin Hayes and yet another youngun recording his first NHL point, Ronnie Attard. The Attard assist meant the first four goals were recorded on either the first career goal or first career assist. The middle stanza had the curtain come down with a one-sided Flyers edge but, Merzlikens being the difference in the 2-2 contest.

Can Philly Pull it Out?

By now you know the answer was a resounding, “no”. Justin Danforth became the hero with his 8th from Jake Bean and Sean Kuraly at 13:16. With Carter Hart pulled, Kuraly (12th) hit the empty net set up by Cole Sillinger and Gustav Nyquist to cement the 4-2 losing streak breaker. The youth movement is in full force.

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Notes and Numbers

  • The victory was the first for the Blue Jackets since March 19.
  • Shots on Goal were 49-29 the Philadelphia way.
  • Merzlikens finished with 47 saves and Carter Hart with 26.
Kevin Neibauer
Kevin Neibauer

Kevin has followed and promoted the game of lacrosse since May 19, 1974.
The same day the Philadelphia Flyers won the Cup, the Philadelphia Wings were introduced to Neibauer and Philadelphia.

Kevin has covered many sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and.. lacrosse. A former licensed football referee and baseball umpire, Kevin brings a unique insight to his game coverage.

A published writer in JustHockey Magazine, Kevin covered the American Hockey League as well as a monthly story on a pugilist where Kevin used the pen name, The Rink Rat. Neibauer turned his attentions to lacrosse for a few years and does his part, whether podcasting or writing to grow the game. Kevin branched out to his roots and currently provides insight for all Philadelphia teams for Edge of Philly as well as his full-time duties with LaxPhilly.