Florida Eels Elite Team Crowned Champions of the Elite Division at the USPHL Spring Showcase
This was the story of the weekend said General Manager Frank Scarpaci. One of the primary reasons the Eels enter into the USPHL Showcase is to afford many prospects the opportunity to Try Out for the Eels Junior team for the 2019-20 playing season. Indeed, if you look at the make-up of this team, you will see the roster included new players from across the USA and Canada. Specifically: New York City NY; Buffalo NY; Sarnia, Canada; Chicago IL; Bethel Connecticut; 2 from Montreal CA; California; Indiana; and 4 from FL. That was 13 players who never sported an Eels Jersey. The Eels coaching and scouting staff attend 12+ showcases across the USA Canada and Europe. We specifically scout and recruit these prospects to join us at this venue and other showcases as an opportunity to play for us over a weekend so we and the prospects can determine if they are a right fit for the Florida Eels. These 13 players are among the players we recruited. In fact, the Eels had 3 teams at this showcase of over 50 prospects. The prospects are integrated with several Eels veterans. Now this is the way to do a tryout says Eels Premier Coach Frankie Scarpaci. Moreover, to win the USPHL Spring Showcase was a huge feather in their cap.
Coach Scarpaci echoed, in fact this was the first time in the 15+ years of attending the USPHL Spring Showcase that we won the event. This is great and a new bar has been set. Way to go guys! This team never played with one another before the Spring Showcase. That is amazing said Florida Eels Elite Coach Alex Sanchez who headed up the Elite squad. They had one practice on Thursday and a scrimmage game ironically against the team that they faced in the Championship game. It is baptism by fire so to speak. These guys did not have any set lines or know any Eels systems or even know one another.
It was a classic tournament team of prospects put together so we could evaluate their talents, skill level, personalities and character. It is funny you see teams with set plays and fixed special teams and powerlines. But that is not what we were looking for. Quite frankly we wanted everyone involved in the power play penalty kill etc. To give us a barometer of what they can do individually and hopefully by the weekend end, as a team. And did they perform - they Won!!!!I Additionally, it was a way for the Eels to showcase their coaches as well, our philosophy and the USPHL for that matter. To kick the tires so to speak. By attending the Spring Showcase, we got to demonstrate in a small sample size our league, our showcases, one of our venues and the teams we play against. The players also got to see many other games at the Spring Showcase: Premier level of hockey and NCDC prospects. It was a great experience.
The Eels coaching staff got to talk personally with all of the players and parents explaining not just on paper about the Eels program, but in separate meetings what the Eels are all about: five days per week practices, 1 ½ hours of ice and again off-ice strength and conditioning training either at Generation Fitness or at the Sports Court at the Skatium,. Weekly Video Analysis of players and of the team, our participation and competing at 4 college showcases, 2 in Boston, 1 in Hampton and 1 in Tampa. Moreover, the success of our college advancement for our players 241 to date, and the scholarships garnered for our players.
The players did come together. It took them a little while to get to know one another and develop cohesion and the bottom line was to keep it simple. They obviously had talent, but they were facing teams that played with one another for quite some time. It was a great end to the weekend showcase. The players and coaching staff were indeed very excited and pleased with the performances of our players. The way the handful of Eels veteran players joined in and integrated with 13 of the young prospects many who never played junior hockey prior to this weekend. Eels Premier Coach Frankie Scarpaci said this was a complete success.