The Florida Eels Premier and Elite team test their rosters over the Labor Day weekend as they competed against two top College ACHA men’s ice hockey programs. This is the Eels 10th Anniversary playing in this college event.
On Saturday, the Eels traveled to Wesley Chapel (Tampa) the home of the Tampa Juniors. The Eels Premier team lost to USF’s top team by a score of 2-0. The Eels outshot the USF Bulls by a margin of 2-1 as the Eels pounded their goalies with 45 shots on net but came up short. The Eels dominated zone time being in USF’s D zone but the could not put it past their netminders. It was an excellent game by both teams said Premier coach Frank Scarpaci. The pace was very fast and the guys were in it right until the last second. It really was a 1-0 game for most of the contest but they capitalized on a penalty shot and that assured them of the win.”
The Eels Elite team surprised their opponents who were definitely much older than the predominately 2001 Eels squad. The Eels Elite garnered significant knowledge against their older and mature opponents but the Eels speed seized the scoring with a 4-3 win over the USF Bull’s 2ndteam. Coach Alex Sanchez commented our Guys were so excited to play their first game. There were jitters no doubt. 80% of my players were new to the Eels and 75% never played juniors. So, this was a great way to get into it, Baptism by Fire so to speak. But they did well. Very impressed with their effort and heart and to come out winners in this game was a huge upside”
On Sunday, the Eels were back on the bus and this time to they traveled to the Clearwater Ice Arena who was host to the two games vs. the University of Tampa ACHA two teams. The Elite team faced another much older and stronger group of guys. Like USF the UT Spartans were very good. Quick in all their decision making explosive skating and very talented. The games went back and forth with the UT Spartans scoring first. Coach Sanchez noted, his younger Eels never quit and then started showcasing their wares; the Eels passing was on its mark and they tilted the rink as they turned on the jets and out gunned the UT Spartans 4-2. We have worked tirelessly on our passing and it paid off in this game”
The Premier team then finished the weekend with a 4-1 win over the University of Tampa ACHA Spartans top squad. “This was a solid team, noted Eels Premier Coach Frank Scarpaci. These guys were very skilled and much older. They were hard-nosed and battled with high intensity.
We had to lay everything out there. The passing was the Premier team found their scoring in this game and you could see them finding their game”
GM Scarpaci conclude, “we appreciated the hospitality the college teams extended to us. These were great games for both our Premier and Elite teams to get under their belts before the regular season gets under way. They were equally great for the college teams as they too are trying to evaluate their players and decide who makes their teams. These games were an extension of the college teams’ tryouts if you will.
The Eels, the Bulls and Spartans have hosted these games for over a decade. The Eels players have also benefited from a recruiting vantage point getting to see what these teams are like and garnering the exposure and visibility in front of these college coaches. The Eels have made it their practice to play other ACHA College teams during the playing season including the University of Miami, FAU, FGCU, Palm Beach State College, Emery Riddle, FIT and up north, New England College, Bridgewater State University, Sacred Heart University and others in the North East. This season they plan to play several more college games in their schedule.
A huge thank you to USF and UT