Premier: TBJ 5, Florida 2
An explosive second period powered the Tampa Bay Juniors to a 5-2 win over the Florida Eels at AdventHealth Center Ice. The Juniors came out flying in the first period. They outshot the Eels 17-7 but were unable to turn momentum into goals. All of the Juniors’ effort was rewarded in the second period. Aaron Frenkel scored a short-handed goal just 1:10 into the second to give TBJ the lead. Roco Selivanov followed up five minutes later to double the Juniors’ advantage. Colin Farley pushed the lead to three at the 15:52 mark of the second. Colton Sipperley found the back of the net on the power play at 18:39. Colin Farley scored his second of the game and fourth of the season just 22 seconds later. The offensive onslaught gave TBJ a 5-0 lead heading into the third period.
Less than three minutes from his second shutout of the season, Cade Kujawski’s bid was ruined. The Eels scored a power play goal at 17:25 of the third. They netted another consolation goal at the 18:43 mark. The 5-2 score line did not reflect the Juniors’ end-to-end domination of the game. Tampa outshot the Eels 52-22. Cade Kujawski stopped 20 shots in route to his eighth win of the season. The victory for the Juniors snapped a three-game losing skid and moved them to within two points of the first place Eels.
Elite: Eels 7, TBJ 3
The Tampa Bay Juniors perfect start to the season came to an end with a 7-3 loss at the hands of the Florida Eels. The Eels opened the scoring late into the first period and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The Juniors and Eels traded two goals a piece in the second period. Florida got the scoring started, doubling their lead at the 6:21 mark. Nevada Woodring and Tim Ruf scored just 83 seconds apart, at the 8:28 and 9:51 marks respectively, to even the game at 2-2. Ruf’s eighth goal of the season was scored on the power play. The Juniors’ momentum was short lived. Florida scored 19 seconds later to regain a 3-2 advantage heading into the second intermission.
TBJ’s third period comeback hopes were stripped away early. The Eels took a two-goal lead just 11 seconds into the period. Three minutes later, they extended the score to 5-2. Nevada Woodring gave the Juniors a glimmer of hope with his second of the game at the 10:33 mark. Tampa was unable to shift the momentum, the Eels put the game to bed with a goal at 14:35 of the third. An empty net tally for Eels gave them their largest lead of the game, in route to a 7-3 final. Even with their first loss of the season, Tampa still held an 11-point advantage at the top of the division.
Elite: TBJ 6, Eels 5
The Tampa Bay Juniors Elite got back on track with a 6-5 come from behind win against the Florida Eels at the Fort Myers Skatium. Adam Custable wasted no time, scoring on the power play 2:36 into the game. Tampa’s early jump was answered and countered by Florida. The Eels scored three unanswered goals at 4:09, 9:22, and 15:12 to take a 3-1 lead. Ryan Bahula was able to claw one back at the 17:13 mark to trim the deficit heading into the second. Florida regained a two-goal advantage with a power play goal at 17:48 of the second. In the late stages of the second, Jack Fleer scored his 8th of the season, on the power play, to keep TBJ close.
The two-goal lead was restored for the Eels at the 8:31 mark of the third period. Staring their second loss of the season in the eyes, Tampa snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Trialing by two with 8:30 left, the Juniors stormed back. Justin Walker started the comeback with a brilliant redirection of Noah Williams’ point drive at 11:28. With the extra attacker out for Tampa, Jack Fleer scored his second of the game to tie the game at five with 1:14 remaining. With another trip to overtime looming for Tampa, they were able to find the winner before the end of regulation. With just 5.9 seconds remaining, Adam Custable completed the comeback for Tampa. The dramatic victory improved the Juniors to 16-1-0 on the season. Jacob Weaver made 42 saves to secure his second win of the season.
Premier: TBJ 6, Eels 5
Four unanswered goals propelled the Tampa Bay Juniors to a 6-5 win and a weekend sweep of the Florida Eels. Connor Reed scored the lone goal of the first. His 5th of the season at 13:49 gave Tampa a 1-0 lead heading into the break. The offense picked up for both teams in the second. Florida got a power play goal 48 seconds into the period to even the affair. Jack Anderson scored his 6th of the year on a breakaway to give Tampa the lead back just 36 seconds later. The Eels were quick to answer again. They tied the game at two at the 2:46 mark. The Eels kept the offense rolling and were able to take and grow the lead. They scored at the 5:15 and 8:59 marks to take a 4-2 lead. Adam Zimmermann scored his first goal back with Tampa at 15:02 to make it a 4-3 contest.
The Eels were accessed a five-minute major penalty late in the second. The Juniors were unable to capitalize on a crucial opportunity and trailed 4-3 heading into the third. Thankfully for Tampa, they did not rue their missed chances. Colton Sipperley extended his goal streak to three games 1:42 into the third. With the weight off his shoulders, Adam Zimmermann scored his second of the game at the 4:20 mark. Leading 5-4 with seven minutes left, Derek Walker provided some much needed insurance. Spencer Craig’s perfect stretch pass sent the Juniors’ captain in on a breakaway and he made no mistake. The Eels made things interesting with a power play goal with 1:27 left. The Juniors, by the skin of their teeth, were able to hold on to the 6-5 lead. Lane Skon made 35 big saves to secure his fourth win of the season. The resilient win improved the Juniors to 12-5-0 on the year and put them back in first place of the Florida Division.
Photo by: Earth Life Studios