Voyda’s Game-Winner Edges Premier Eels Past Juniors 3-2
By: Nick Roesch
Fort Myers, FL: The (8-2) Florida Eels Premier team retained their #1 ranking in the USPHL Premier Division when they outlasted the Tampa Bay Juniors 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at the Fort Myers Skatium.
The Eels started the fireworks early when Maksim Tereschenko went coast-to-coast, flicking the puck in over the left shoulder of Juniors goaltender Cade Kujawski and into the net. The marker came just 2:43 into regulation as the Eels went on top 1-0.
With 23 seconds to spare in the first period, Garrett Sandberg found the equalizer for the Juniors when he blasted a wrist shot from the midpoint through traffic and into the cage. Both teams entered the first intermission deadlocked at one apiece.
The Eels once again came flying out of the locker room as Gage Dill beat out Kujawski at the 2:12 marker to give Florida their second lead of the afternoon. Jens Petersen controlled the disc as he hurried into the attacking zone on an odd man rush. From the far hashmarks, he slid it down to Gage Dill who went five-hole for the lone goal of the 2nd period.
With 15:10 showing on the 3rd period clock, Tampa Bay found a way to even the score at 2-2 courtesy of a point-blank backhander from Connor Reed which hit the top shelf. Assists on the power play tally were credited to Keegan Johnson and Zach Puterbaugh.
The biggest play of the game came from Trevor Voyda with 4:37 to spare in regulation, as he deked past a defender and went bar down from the near circle to lift the Eels to a 3-2 advantage. Voyda’s assistants on the game-winning goal were Jake Court and Egor Nosov. The Eels defense remained steady for the final moments of action to clinch the two-game series sweep over Tampa Bay.
Eels goaltender Jakub Kostelny was the winning goalie, stopping 18 of 20 shots faced to advance his starting record to 6-0. The Eels led in shots on goal 44-20.
The Eels now set their sights on this Friday night when they visit Estero for a meeting against the arch-rival Florida Jr. Blades. The puck drops at 5 PM inside Hertz Arena.