Eels Elite Go 3-1 At the USPHL Florida Showcase
It was an incredible few weeks for the Florida Eels Elite players. They did phenomenal at the Florida College Showcase going 3-0 against some of the best teams in the entire USPHL Elite Divisions. This showcase has traditionally not been a friend of the Eels Elite program. For 3 years in row the Eels have not won a game at this event. But the curse was not only snaped it was obliterated! Indeed, the Eels Elite came out on fire and their efforts at the showcase and performances all season thus far have been noticed by the decision makers. There were 30 plus college scouts in attendance at the showcase and many of the Eels players garnered the attention of these college recruiters.
The games were very competitive. The Eels had a tough draw facing Hampton-former National Champs, the Islanders Hockey Club out of Boston, 1st place in their Division, the Charlotte Rush, last year reigning National Champs, and the Carolina Hurricanes tied for 1st place in the prestigious Southern Division and always National contender. The Eels did what they have been doing all season: Out work their opponents, take nothing for granted, shatter any concept of complacency, and lastly obliterate the notion of entitlement. Moreover, they had to do this without their top two defensemen, Nick Corbett – out with a major concussion and Neil Campbell out with a serious upper raspatory infection. And they had to do it without their top forward Spencer Carpenter, out with a series of facial injuries.
The Eels defeated Hampton in game one 3-1. Then took down the 1st place Northern Division leaders IHC 5-3. These two were clear cogent and convincing wins. No doubt anyone watching these games were very impressed with the Eels speed, skill set and cohesiveness of the squad. They showed unwavering commitment to win and drive. College scouts took notice and hovered over our guys as future and present prospects. Then they met their first hiccup. The Charlotte Rush. Simply put the Eels had a bad game. No sugar coating it. It happens. You could say they were lost in the euphoria of the Premier Nationals re-match of the Rush and the Eels, or the fact they were playing the National champs etc. But we did not play well regardless, and the Rush did. We left that game a better team. We learned from the mistakes. In fact, you learn twice as much from your losses than wins. And that we did. We regrouped and analyzed the issues and inequities and took it to the next match. And that we did. The very next morning the Eels faced off against the Southern Division leaders the Carolina Hurricanes. An incredibly well-structured team who play an extremely disciplined game with a plethora of talent and weapons. Many thought the Eels did not have a prayer against the Cains. Well the Eels thought differently.
In this game you saw another Eels team. Back to business. They came out in the 1st period with ground forces like soldiers hitting the beach. We played a very physical game along the boards. Hitting everything that moved. In the 2nd period we went in our aural attack and swamped them with a systematic and continuous assault on their goalie with shot after shot with a resounding 5-1 clear win. In the 3rd period we set up a stone wall defensively and completely shut down the Canis counter attack. Our goaltending was incredible with Matt Schoer and once again the Scouts took notice.
The Eels Elite players are off for the Christmas break and will be heading to Boston for the USPHL Main Showcase to take on many of the top teams from the North and Atlantic Divisions. They are a determined group and will take extra efforts to do whatever it takes to perform well. Up in Boston as in Florida the Eels will be practicing aside their games. We do not believe it is enough to simply play games. The Eels invest in practices. We will be doing 2-3 practices, playing extra scrimmage games, touring colleges and watching U-Mass vs Worcester State College games. Sure these extra items are taxing but sure speak volumes in the Eels players’ development. We submit it shows.