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Weekend Wrap: Juniors Sweep Hard-Fought Series with Blades

10/26/2020, 6:15pm EDT
By Tyler Davey

Saturday

Elite: TBJ 4, Blades 3 (SO)

The Tampa Bay Juniors Elite team pushed their winning streak to 7 games with a 4-3 shootout win against the Florida Jr Blades at Hertz Arena. The Juniors broke the ice 14:34 into the first by Justin Walker’s 5th goal of the year. The Blades were quick to respond, tying the game at 1 just a minute and 18 seconds later. The second period belonged to the Blades. Two goals at the 11:01 and 16:01 mark of the period gave Florida a 3-1 lead with 20 minutes left in regulation.

The Juniors were able to mount a comeback in the third period. Ryan Bahula scored his league-leading 11th goal of the season just 27 seconds into the frame. His linemate, Jack Fleer knotted the game up at 3 with his goal at 9:32 of the third. Both teams mustered just one shot on goal in the 3-on-3 overtime period.

By the skin of their teeth, the Juniors were able to prevail in a seven-round shootout. Ryan Bahula and Martin Raynov were able to find the back of the net to secure the win. Evan Spinella captured his 4th win of the season with 14 saves and 6 major stops in the shootout.

Premier: TBJ 3, Blades 2 (OT)

The Juniors Premier team defeated the vastly improved Florida Jr Blades 3-2 in overtime at Hertz Arena.  The two teams traded goals in the first period. Paul Flidr extended his goal streak to 3 games by scoring the opener at the 6:02 mark. The Jr Blades answered over 4 minutes later with a breakaway goal to even the contest at 1. The lone goal of the second period belonged to Tampa. Aaron Frenkel netted his division-leading 9th goal of the year just 2:09 into the second.

The Blades were able to find their equalizer late into the third period. Cameron Croteau took advantage of a TBJ mistake and beat Cade Kujawski with 1:37 left in regulation to force overtime. In overtime, the Blades were called for a crucial penalty, giving TBJ a 4-on-3. With one second left in the power play, Roco Selivanov scored his 3rd goal of the year to seal an emphatic 3-2 win. Cade Kujawski made 25 saves and improved to 5-0-0 on the season.

Sunday

Elite: TBJ 9, Blades 1

Four separate Juniors scored two goals in a blowout 9-1 win over the Jr Blades at AdventHealth Center Ice. With just 10 skaters, the Jr Blades were able to put together an impressive effort in the first. Tim Ruf opened the scoring with his 4th of the season at 8:51. The Blades found the answer on the power play at 14:16. Jack Fleer gave the Juniors the lead back at 17:04, a lead the Juniors would never relinquish.  

Six second period goals sealed the deal for the Juniors. Jake Duhaime got the party started, on the power play, just a minute and 13 seconds in. Jack Fleer scored his 2nd of the game and 5th of the season, also on the power play, at 8:18 of the second. Tampa broke the game wide open with 3 goals in 63 seconds, including two goals on the same shift by Ryan Bahula. Jake Duhaime scored the Juniors’ third power play goal of the period with 46 seconds left in the middle period.

Justin Walker scored his second of the game at 10:22 of the third period to see out a dominant 9-1 win for Tampa. The win boosted the Elite team’s record to 8-0-0 on the season. Ethan Leigh picked up his 4th win of the season, stopping 13 of 14 shots. Jacob Weaver made his first Juniors appearance in the third period and stopped all 7 shots he faced. Ryan Bahula (2 goals, 3 assists), Adam Custable (4 assists), Jack Fleer (2 goals, 1 assist), Justin Walker (2 goals), Jake Duhaime (2 goals), and Pranay Prasanna (3 assists) all finished with multi-point games.

Premier: TBJ 3, Blades 2

Two clutch third period goals helped the Juniors outlast the Blades 3-2 to improve to 7-1-0 on the season. The two teams played a scoreless first with TBJ outshooting Florida 11-9. The games first goal didn’t come until 10:48 into the second when Jack Anderson unleashed a top shelf wrister from the point. The Juniors first lead of the day was short lived, with the Blades responded less than 3 minutes later on the power play.

The Juniors and Blades continued to play a hard-nosed, tight game deep into the third period. A humongous giveaway by the Blades granted Laz Kaebel an opportunity which he did not miss. Kaebel’s second goal of the season gave the Juniors a 2-1 lead with just over 4 minutes left. TBJ’s lead was doubled thanks to Britt Courneya’s second of the year at 17:09 of the third. He buried a rebound after a great combination play by Ronan Keenan and Mateusz Wawrzkiewicz. The Blades refused to go down lightly. Two penalties against the Juniors gave Florida a 5-on-3 advantage for the final 58 seconds of the game. The Blades got a goal back with 42 seconds left but it was not enough. Cade Kujawski made 22 heroic saves, including 10 in the third period, to pick up his 6th win of the year.

Photo By: Earth Life Studios

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