Florida Eels Season Openers This Weekend vs. The Tampa Juniors
Florida Eels Season Openers This Weekend
This Saturday is the Season opener for both the Florida Eels Premier and Elite teams. The Elite plays at 2:15 drop of puck and Premier 5:00 pm drop of puck. The games will be hosted at the Florida Hospital Ice Center in Wesley Chapel Florida. The first games of the season are always very special. The Eels will be traveling to Tampa to battle against its West Coast of Florida chief rivals the Tampa Bay Juniors. These two organizations have always been the top contenders against each other for divisional supremacy. The Eels and Tampa often come right down to the final games of the season in determining first place and playoff top seeding. Thus, the regular season games have always been very relevant for the two programs. Moreover, the two often meet in the playoff rounds and the winner of it typically advanced to the Northern Nationals. Therefore, expect the games this weekend to be very competitive, spirited and intense.
The Tampa Juniors had played for ½ dozen years at the Ellenton Ice Arena which was the former home of the Florida Eels before moving to Fort Myers. The fan base there was often loud and many of the locals in Ellenton were still Eel fans so it was funny being at Away games and having the opposing teams’ crowd cheering for the Eels. Moreover because of the close proximity to Fort Myers over 100-150 Eels fans would often travel to Ellenton to watch their home town Fort Myers team. In fact, this past weekend at the college games hosted at the Tampa Juniors rink – the Florida Hospital Ice Center in Wesley Capel Florida, which is 2 ½ hours away from Fort Myers, there were easily over 100 Eels fans in attendance. Quite impressive to say the least. This Saturday we expect to see another good crowd.
Then on Sunday the Eels have their home opener back here in Fort Myers as they play host to the Tampa Juniors for both the Elite and Premier teams. The Elite team plays at 1:00 pm at the Fort Myers Skatium and the Premier at 3:35 pm. The Eels have quite a few new players on both the Elite and Premier teams so we are looking forward to see how the guys come together this weekend. They have been training for 3 weeks 4+ hours per day. No doubt this has been one of our most determined and dedicated group of guys who brought in. There is already strong camaraderie amongst the players not only on each of the teams – Premier and Elite – but as an organization as a whole.
If you are in town we ask that you stop by and support us at the Skatium on Sunday. These will be great games and it will give you an opportunity to meet the new guys and get re-acquainted with the returnees.