This weekend the Florida Eels Premier and Elite teams have their season openers on Saturday September 19th at the Advent Arena in Wesley Chapel (Tampa) Florida. The Elite team plays first at noon and the Premier team squares off at 2:45 pm. These two organizations have battled it out year after year for over a decade. Last season the Eels Premier team dominated first place the entire season and ended the year 20 points ahead of Tampa’s Premier team. Both teams finished strong in the Florida Division playoff round and advanced to Nationals.
The Elite team also owned first place in their Division the entire season. Tampa and the Eels were edged out at playoffs with a surprising upset by Atlanta over Tampa and Charleston over the Eels in a best of 3 in the initial playoff round.
Suffice it to say the history between these two organizations have been very competitive. In fact, each regular season game is like a final determinative playoff game. We can expect both the Premier and Elite teams from both the Elite and Premier teams to be equally competitive this season. There are a lot of unknowns here being the first game of the season and many new faces. There Eels have been training for 3 weeks but there is nothing like getting you back into the grove of things than playing in actual league games.
On Sunday the Eels play host to the Florida Junior Blades at the Fort Myers Skatium for the Eels home openers. We are all very excited to get this season underway. The Skatium does allow spectators so long as the folks practice certain CDC, USPHL and Eels protocols. This does include social distancing, six feet apart and wearing of face-coverings and or facemask for all spectators.
Sunday the Elite team plays first at 10:30 am puck drop. The Premier team plays 2nd at 1:00 pm puck drop. No doubt these two teams bring the best they have to the games. They are always very competitive games, quite very lively and extremely spirited. Typically, they are well attended by fans from both organizations. So social distancing will be strictly adhered to. Last season the Jr Blades Elite team missed the playoffs finishing 5thoverall. The Jr Blades Premier team finished the season in 4th place and were eliminated in 2 games by their cross-town rivals – the Florida Eels who finished the season in first place.
Again, as with all junior programs last year was last season. Each organization and team add many new faces and skills set. Moreover, the Blades have a totally new coaching staff. We trust these boys will be ready to battle against the Eels.
The Florida Eels coaching staff know full well last season’s accomplishments and heights are just that Last year. It is history for all intents and purposes. The Eels coaches won’t allow its players to sit on their laurels and accept complacency nor feel entitled. To the contrary they have worked very hard over the last 3 weeks both on the ice, in the gym, additional fitness training and video analysis.
Please join us at the Skatium live if you are in town, or on Hockey TV for all the weekend games.