Before the Premier game Friday night, the Juniors and Blades joined together to honor the life of Austin Hefferin. Hefferin, a member of the Blades 2012-14, passed away after a long courageous battle against cancer. #AustinsArmy
Premier: TBJ 6, Jr Blades 5 (OT)
Zach Puterbaugh scored the overtime winner to secure a 6-5 win against the Florida Jr Blades Premier at AdventHealth Center Ice. The game got off to a frantic start with 7 first period goals. The Jr Blades broke the ice just 1:44 into the game. Just a minute and 4 seconds later, Colin Farley scored his first Premier goal to even the score. The Jr Blades pulled ahead again at the 7:44 mark of the first. Within a minute the Juniors had another answer, this time from Jack Anderson. The Blades went ahead for the third time of the game 10:56 into the first. Cade Kujawski was pulled following the goal in favor of Lane Skon. TBJ was able to tie the game and take their first lead into the break, thanks to goals from Laz Kaebel and Connor Reed.
The seesaw game continued in the second period. FJB knotted the game up for the 4th time just 3:33 into the second. Midway through the period, the Juniors regained the lead with Colton Sipperley’s first goal for the Juniors. Florida refused to go away and tied the game at 5 with a goal 18:54 into the second. The two teams played to a scoreless third period, forcing overtime. With 48 seconds left in the 3-on-3 overtime, Zach Puterbaugh stuffed home his first goal of the season to secure a key win. Lane Skon stopped 14 of 16 shots in his relief appearance. Four separate skaters finished with multi-point games as the Juniors improved to 8-1-0 on the season.
Elite: TBJ 5, Jr Blades 3
The Tampa Bay Juniors Elite team continued their perfect start to the season with a 5-3 win against the Florida Jr Blades at AdventHealth Center Ice. The Jr Blades took the lead 8:15 into the first. Nevada Woodring had the answer for the Juniors late in the first to even the game at 1 going into intermission. The Juniors found their footing midway through the second period. Goals from Tim Ruf and Ryan Bahula’s league-leading 14th goal gave the Juniors a 3-1 lead. Before the second intermission, the Blades got a goal back to make it a one-goal affair going into the third.
The Jr Blades came out flying in the third and evened the game at 3 just 24 seconds into the period. Neither team could find the go ahead goal for most of the tense third period. A Jr Blades interference penalty with 2:51 left in the game gave the Juniors a crucial opportunity to take the lead. Just 26 seconds into the man advantage, Filip Kuba scored his 3rd goal of the season and the Juniors didn’t look back. Adam Custable sealed the deal with an empty net goal at 19:47 of regulation. Evan Spinella made 25 saves to improve to 5-0-0 on the year.
Elite: TBJ 6, Jr Blades 2
The Tampa Bay Juniors Elite team pushed their winning streak to 10 games with a commanding 6-2 win over the Florida Jr Blades at Hertz Arena. TBJ opened the scoring 15:34 into the first with Filip Kuba’s second power play goal in as many games. The lead was short lived as the Blades evened the game at the 19:21 mark of the first. The Juniors came into the second with a resurgent effort and dominated the period. Bryson Uhrig got the lead back 12:27 into the period with a top shelf snipe. TBJ added on to their lead with goals from Zach Hendle and Brennan Robbins’ first for the Juniors.
The Jr Blades cut into the three goal deficit in the third period. Florida got a goal at the 13:13 mark to trim the lead to 2. The goal didn’t phase the Juniors who put the game on ice with goals from Jack Fleer and Jake Duhaime. Ethan Leigh stopped 32 shots to earn his 5th win of the season. Bryson Uhrig (1 G, 1 A), Adam Custable (2 A), and Ryan Bahula (2 A) all finished with multiple points.
Premier: TBJ 7, Jr Blades 5
Three third period goals helped ensure a thrilling 7-5 win for the Tampa Bay Juniors Premier at Hertz Arena. Stanley Lucas snapped a 5-game goal scoring drought to open the scoring 4:30 into the game. The Juniors strong effort did not propel them to a first intermission lead. The Blades tied the game up with 7 minutes left in the first. The scoring for both teams took off in the second. The goal scoring explosion only took 18 seconds. Colton Sipperley scored his second goal in as many games to give the Juniors the lead back. The Juniors grew their lead with goals from Ronan Keenan (1st goal) and Keegan Johnson (5th goal). The three goal lead was evaporated before the end of the second period. The Jr Blades roared back with goals at the 11:43, 13:02, and 18:14 marks of the second.
The 4-4 deadlock was broken 3:48 into the third period. Jack Anderson extended his goal streak to three on the power play to give the Juniors the lead back. The Blades did not go quietly and knotted the game back up on a scramble in front at 10:32. The game was well on its way to overtime until the Blades were called for slashing with 2:51 left. With 1:59 left in regulation, Laz Kaebel found a seam behind the Florida defense and scored on a breakaway. The Juniors faced a penalty kill with 26 seconds left in the game. The hero, Laz Kaebel, took matters into his own hands on the kill and scored an empty net goal from 170 feet away to put the game away. Lane Skon made 40 saves to pick up his 2nd win of the weekend. Laz Kaebel (2 G, 1 A), Stanley Lucas (1 G, 2 A), Connor Reed (2 A), and Jon Heller (2 A) all had multiple points, as the Juniors improved to 9-1-0.
Photo by: Earth Life Studios