You could say Friday night’s game was a bit of “Baptism by Fire” so to speak for the Elite squad.
Florida Eels Elite Team Weekend Ice Cap
The Florida Eels Elite team split the weekend with a loss to the Tampa Juniors in their season opener up in Tampa 7-2 and a win in their home opener vs the Jr. Blades 4-2 at the Fort Myers Skatium. You could say Friday night’s game was a bit of “Baptism by Fire” so to speak for the Elite squad. The Eels players had to learn to jell as a team. They were 13 new players out of 21 on the squad. That is a lot to develop cohesiveness. In fact, the Eels had 11 rookies on this squad who never played junior hockey. So, there is a huge learning curve. But GM Scarpaci offers no excuses. This is how you develop players. This is what we do best. We train 3+ hours per day on ice 5 days per week in the gym or fitness center 5 days per week, weekly video sessions. It is not about wins and losses. It is all about “Player Development”. By being patient and developing our players we get to stage 2: That is the advancement of our players. Advancement to the Premier Squad, the NCDC The BCHL etc. and most importantly to play College Hockey. Our program is at the pinnacle of college advancement with 260 alumni advancing to college.
Coach Sanchez echoed, “We saw some holes and inequities and made some adjustments. We re-focused our players Friday night and Sunday morning. Remember we had our home opener less than 24 hours away. So, there was not time for another practice or video sessions”. But the coaches got to go over what we did wrong and how to close the gap. And the boys responded.
On Sunday after having their first game jitters out of the way and shock off some of the “junior nerves” you could see they came out more poised. Their systems were in tack as a team and their own skill sets took over as well. Remember unlike years past where we got to scrimmage 2-3 game vs. ACHA College teams like the University of Tampa, Florida State University, University of South Florida and FGCU we had to go into these games’ cold turkey.
The Elite team came out hard. They ramped up their fore-check and placed enormous pressure on the Blades. The boys bought into the Eels back check plans and the result was a resounding 4-2 win over their cross-town rivals the Florida Jr. Blades. This Blades team was not a push over. Unlike years past they came with a full team and they too were hungry looking to avenge their 7-1 loss at the hands to the Tampa Juniors. It was a tough hard battle waged by both the Eels and Jr Blades. We were very proud of our guys being able to spring back and rebound with their solid effort. Remember the Jr Blades played Friday evening and had all day Saturday to recover, review film, scout our game vs Tampa and well prepare for their contest with the Eels. Compare the less than 24 hours turn around for the Eels. Way to go guys!
This weekend we have 2 away games vs the Junior Blades. Friday and Saturday . This ought to be incredible games. The intensity and excitement are always at a high between these two clubs. If you are in town join us at Hertz Arena or on Hockey TV.
Summary of game 1.
Florida Eels 2 at Tampa Bay Juniors 7 – Status: Final
Saturday, September 19, 2020 – Advent Health Center Ice
Florida Eels 0 1 1 – 2
Tampa Bay Juniors 4 0 3 – 7
1st Period-1, Tampa Bay Juniors, Uhrig 2 (Duhaime), 3:13. 2, Tampa Bay Juniors, Bahula 2 (Fleer), 11:04. 3, Tampa Bay Juniors, Campo 1 (Williams, Walker), 13:56. 4, Tampa Bay Juniors, Walker 1 (Williams, Cobbs), 18:03. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-5, Florida Eels, Rioux 1 (Zebley, Corbett), 0:26. Penalties-No Penalties
3rd Period-6, Tampa Bay Juniors, Woodring 1 (Ruf, Cullen), 2:15. 7, Tampa Bay Juniors, Bahula 3 (Custable, Walker), 9:20. 8, Tampa Bay Juniors, Bahula 4 (Cullen, Custable), 13:16. 9, Florida Eels, Harrop 1 (Corbett, Chambre), 16:09. Penalties-Corbett Eel (roughing), 18:32; Woodring Tbj (roughing), 18:32.
Shots on Goal-Florida Eels 9-11-9-29. Tampa Bay Juniors 17-11-9-37.
Power Play Opportunities-Florida Eels 0 / 0; Tampa Bay Juniors 0 / 0.
Goalies-Florida Eels, Pelletier 0-1-0-0 (17 shots-13 saves); VanOoteghem 0-0-0-0 (20 shots-17 saves). Tampa Bay Juniors, Leigh 1-0-0-0 (29 shots-27 saves).
Summary of game 2.
Florida Junior Blades 2 at Florida Eels 4 – Status: Final
Sunday, September 20, 2020 – Fort Myers Skatium
Florida Junior Blades 1 1 0 – 2
Florida Eels 0 2 2 – 4
1st Period-1, Florida Junior Blades, Hambling 1 9:29. Penalties-Neish Fjb (roughing), 3:39.
2nd Period-2, Florida Eels, Rioux 2 (Zebley, Engles), 1:25. 3, Florida Junior Blades, Attisano 2 (Williams III), 2:14 (PP). 4, Florida Eels, Zebley 1 (Chambre, Rioux), 18:04. Penalties-Harrop Eel (slashing), 2:05; Campbell Eel (tripping), 4:03; Manicki Fjb (hooking), 14:50.
3rd Period-5, Florida Eels, Chambre 1 1:00. 6, Florida Eels, Cartier 1 (Rioux, DeMeyere), 7:00. Penalties-Corbett Eel (bench -unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:35.
Shots on Goal-Florida Junior Blades 9-14-12-35. Florida Eels 12-21-17-50.
Power Play Opportunities-Florida Junior Blades 1 / 0; Florida Eels 0 / 0.