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.
Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.