The Pro/Alumni Team led by former Tampa Bay Lightning players Jassen Culimore, Nikita Alexeev, Filip Kuba, Jan Hlavac and Dmitri Afanasenko defeated the Tampa Elite team 12-10 Saturday night. In an All Star like game (with little defense) Tampa Elite fought back to make the game 8-8 going into the third period but the former NHL players proved to be too much as they got 3 o the 4 goals in the 3rd. The team was also made up of former Division I and III college players and US Women's Olympic team member Anne Schleper.
Empire loses continuation game
Tampa Empire played in Palm Beach Sunday in a game that was called back in September. The game had to be played where it was left off using players that played in that game. Because of this Tampa only had 11 skaters who could dress and had to start with killing a 5 minute major penalty. Tampa killed off the penalty but Palm Beach jumped to a 2-0 lead after 2 periods.
A goal by Alex Trendall cut the lead in half but Palm Beach scored 2 more for a 4-1 lead. Tampa kept rallying back despite only 11 skaters with goals from Tyler Estermyer and Steven Noyes but fell short in the end.
Tampa still remains in 1st place of the Southern Division. Both the Empire and Elite teams travel to Atlanta next weekend.
2015 Tampa Bay JR vs Pro-College Alumni
The playoffs don't start for another month but the Tampa Elite and Florida Eels had a couple of playoff type games over the weekend. On Saturday night the Eels scored a power play goal at 8:45 of the first period and made that hold for a 1-0 victory. Both teams played great defense and had solid goaltending in a back and forth game.
The rematch on Sunday was much of the same. After a scoreless first period Trey Stern got Tampa on the board with his 13th goal of the season. 3 minutes later Raven Woodring scored his 4th goal of the year on the power play.
The Eels cut the lead in half 5 minutes into the 3rd period but continued solid team defense and strong goaltending from Michael Krch made the lead stand up for the 2-1 victory.
Next up for the Elite is the Pro Alumni game at 7:00pm Saturday 1/24.
Benoit Chin (Tampa Bay Juniors)
Benoit was a spark plug for Tampa Bay at the USPHL Winter Showcase, netting a goal and recording nine assists in four games. He assisted on both of the team’s goals in Friday’s 2-0 win over the Bruins. Later that day, he chipped in three more helpers against PAL. On Sunday, Benoit exploded for a goal and four assists, including two on the power play. In 33 games this season, the Ontario native has 18 goals and 35 assists (53 total points).
After knocking off perennial power Boston Jr Bruins and the PAL Islanders in day 1 the Tampa Empire looked to stay unbeaten in the USPHL Winter Showcase.
Tampa played Adirondack in game 3. David Ledbetter scored early to give Tampa a 1-0 lead. Despite breakaways and numerous scoring chances Tampa could not get anything by the Wings goalie. Late in the game the Wings started putting pressure on Tampa but Zac Gazzanna stood tall for the shutout and the 1-0 victory.
In the final game Tampa came out strong with a 7-1 win over the Rochester Americans. Tampa jumped to 4-0 lead in the first half on golas by Benoit chin, Billy Gardner and 2 by Ledbetter. Goals by Michael Demiceli and Jonathan Grodzki to open the 2nd half gave Tampa a 6-0 lead. Only a 5 on 3 PP goal by Rochester could beat Sam Coleman in net and a final goal by Max Mulholland finished the 7-1 victory.
With the win the Tampa Empire finished 8-0 in the 2 USPHL Northern Showcases and continue to be in first place of the USPHL South Division. Tampa next plays the Florida Eels Saturday at home at 8:00 pm.
After going 1-1 in day 1 of the USPHL Winter Showcase in Boston the Tampa Elite had 2 games remaining against northern powers New Jersey Hitmen and the Boston Jr. Bruins.
Saturday saw the Hitmen score early for a 1-0 lead. Tampa had to kill off 3 penalties also in the period and Michael Krch kept Tampa to within 1 going into the second half. In the second half Tampa came out strong with aggressive forechecking creating chances all period. Finally with 3 minutes remaining in the game Nick Frankich scored to tie the game. Tampa struck again just 30 seconds later with a goal from Christopher Astrom to take the lead. A late penalty had Tampa Shorthanded the last 2 minutes but they were able to hold on for the victory.
On Sunday Tampa faced first place Boston Jr. Bruins. The Bruins Jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first half with despite Tampa getting many scoring oppurtunities. In the second half the Bruins took a 4-0 lead before Tampa came back with goals from Romain Wild and Brock Thompson to cut the lead in half. But the Bruins showed why they were in first place by scoring 3 more goals to seal the 7-2 win. shots for the game were 30-29.
The Tampa Elite finish the 2 Northern showcases with a 6-2 record. They remain in 3rd place of the southern division. Tampa plays the Florida Eels at home next weekend.
Former Tampa Bay Jr player Roope Hintz ('96) from Tampere Finland is playing for Finland in the current Jr World Championships. He plays for Ilves (Liiga league) and has previously played on the Finish World U18 team. Check out Roope at:
He's also a prospect for the 2015 NHL draft.
2014 USPHL Winter Junior Hockey Showcase