This weekend the Florida Eels have a 7-game home stand at the Fort Myers Skatium. The Premier team squares off 4 times while the Elite team faces off with a 3-game stance. Seven games would be a herculean task for any organization but what makes this even more taxing is that the Eels have just came off 8 games in 10 days. It started off with the Eels trip to Charleston 2 weekends ago when then both the Eels Premier and Elite team had a play a 3-game series. Friday Saturday and Sunday. Then immediately head to the Hub City for a 4th game vs the New York Aviators and a quick rest and practice for a return trip to Charleston for 4 games for both the Premier and Elite teams at the USPHL South Showcase.
This has been a NHL type schedule. But our players are grueling it out and fine tuning their skills while homing in with what it takes for a major play off run. Indeed, this weekend won’t be any easier as the Eels Premier takes on the Atlanta Madhatters Friday evening at 9:15 pm and a Saturday matinee at 3:20 pm. Then the Premier team shifts for a game vs the Northern Cyclones Sunday at 1:00 pm and complete the weekend home stand vs the Atlanta Madhatters Monday at 11:30 am .
The Elite team has a 3-game home stand beginning Saturday evening 9:00 pm and a game vs the Northern Cyclones Sunday at 10:15 am and conclude with a game vs the Madhatters Monday morning 9:00 am.
These games are all consequential. So much is still riding in the standings. For both Eels teams they sit in 2ndplace in their respective Florida Divisions. However, both teams have a better than average chance to move up in the standings and dethrone the Tampa Juniors from their first-place seating. The Tampa Juniors Premier has 52 points to the Eels 46. The Eels have played 2 less games. The Eels and Tampa have 2 games between them this season. So, each game is critical for each team. Moreover, the Madhatters Premier team sits in 5th place with 23 points compared to the Florida Jr Blades with 25 points. Interesting the Blades have played 4 more games than the Madhatters. What makes this even more dicey is that the Madhatters and Jr Blades have a 3-game series back in Atlanta next weekend. So, Atlanta will be coming out putting it all on the line this weekend leaving everything on the ice. If they end the regular season in 5th place they are eliminated from the playoffs. The Madhatters who are playing solid hockey of late will also have a 3-game series vs Tampa and a similar 3 game series vs the Colonials. Six of these games will be back home in Atlanta. Ah so many moving parts.
On the Elite side of the ledger, Tampa sits in first place with 49 points compared to the Eels who are in 2ndplace with 41 points. Both teams played an even 36 games. The Madhatters sit comfortably in 4th place with 28 points compared to the Blades with only 16 points. However, the Colonials are in 3rd place with 31 points. No doubt 3rd place in up for grabs and when you look at the number of games the Madhatters has against the Colonials – 3 and 3 vs the Blades and 3 vs Tampa, you can see it is all up for grabs. The Eels are making a huge push back against Tampa so one thing for sure the Final standings won’t be set here until perhaps the final game of the season.
So lets buckle up your seats for one heck of a weekend of incredible games at the Fort Myers Skatium. This might be the most exciting weekend of hockey in Southwest Florida all season. How fitting during Superbowl weekend. Please join us live but if you cannot make it join us on HockeyTV.