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Weekend Wrap: Tampa Dominates in Atlanta with Weekend Sweep

10/12/2021, 6:30pm EDT
By Christian Adams

The Tampa Bay Juniors won in style this past weekend in Atlanta. Both

Premier and Elite won both of their games in convincing fashion as they

overpowered the Atlanta Madhatters. Both Elite and Premier scored a

combined 26 goals in the 4 games. Tampa was faster, more skilled, and

had the better opportunities, and were just the better team. Premier

has now won 5 in a row while Elite has won 3 of its last 4. Elite now sits

alone in first place with 14 points with premier in the same spot with 15

points.

Elite opens the floodgates

Holding down the fort and taking advantage of opportunities is what

you’re supposed on the road, but Tampa Bay opened up the floodgates.

In game one on Saturday, Tampa Bay scored the first 4 goals while

shutting out Atlanta in the first 2 periods. Despite giving up a

shorthanded goal early in the 3rd , Cooper Hunt responded by scoring

two unanswered, quelling any hope of an Atlanta comeback. Even more

impressive was the fact that the team’s top goal scorer Bryson Uhrig

did not get one Saturday. 5 different players scored on Saturday while

Pranay Prasanna, Richard Biszant and Philip Wsol all got their first of

the season. Evan Spinella turned in a strong performance once again,

stopping 27-of-29 in the 6-2 win.

Sunday’s performance was even better. After allowing the first goal

nearly halfway through the first, Tampa Bay scored 8 unanswered

goals. Tyler Cullen and Brennan Robbins each scored two with James

Jorge, Tyler Macindoe, Aliaksandr Leskavets, and Uhrig all joining in. 12

different players would record a point while 5 recorded 2 or more.

Charles Garon would pick up his third win of the season stopping 30-of-

31.

If there was one drawback to Elite’s performance, it was the

continuation of their lack of discipline. On Sunday Tampa Bay was

called for 6 penalties resulting in 5 powerplays. Saturday was even

worse taking 8 penalties resulting in 7 powerplays, including a 5-minute

major. The Juniors are the third most penalized time in all of elite. Their

saving grace? The penalty kill has been excellent. Despite hovering

above the benchmark at 81.2%, when giving up that many chances per

game, it’s a good number. Tampa Bay needs to do a better job of

staying out of the box because it could cost them down the road.

Premier takes care of business

Beating teams beneath you in the standing in considered taking care of

business, and that’s exactly what Premier did this weekend. It may have

not been the prettiest at times, but they got the job done and secured 4

needed points. On Saturday, Tampa Bay got to work early scoring the

first 5 goals of the game. The first one coming from the newest addition

Jonah Mortenson who would finish the weekend with 6 points. This

was followed by a late period goal from Justin Walker. In the second,

young gun Filip Kuba would put Tampa up 2 followed by Beau Courneya

and Connor Nelson who remains red hot. Nelson walks away from

Atlanta with a 5-game point streak and has scored goals in 4 of them.

After allowing two, Jackson Studebaker would collect his 1st of his

career to seal the deal. The best part about this game however was the

way Tampa Bay defended in 3rd

. Premier has struggled to hold onto large leads this season but would only allow

1 goal in the third securing a 6-3 victory.  

Penalties galore

Sunday’s game wasn’t pretty for either side as penalties were the story

of the game. Tampa Bay jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 1st with goals

​from Walker, Mortenson, and Tim Ruf. Then Atlanta would jump on the

board halfway through the first. The odd part about it, was that all 4

goals scored in the first period were shorthanded. That must be some

kind of record. Tampa’s first two were on the same kill. It was a sign of

things to come. Ryan Bahula would get his 5th of the season before

things went downhill. The Juniors took five penalties in the 2nd period

including a 10-minute misconduct, a major penalty and a game misconduct.

Then early in the 3rd Tampa Bay would take three consecutive penalties, in which

the latter two resulted in 5-on-3. Given the circumstance the penalty kill did

quite well only allowing one goal on the major penalty and completely killing of

the 5-on-3 with the game tied. However, the sheer number of chances allowed

Atlanta back into the game.

After being down 3 goals and coming back to tie, it would be

Madhatter’s turn to take penalties. Atlanta took four consecutive

penalties to end the game, two of which resulted in a 1:46 5-on-3 for

the Juniors. This is where Tampa would win the game. After being in

the zone for the entirety of the 5-on-3, Jon Heller would tap home a

nice cross-ice feed from Beau Courneya and Nelson would put in the

empty-netter to seal the 6-4 win. Evan Spinella got a call up to premier

and played well stopping 25-of-29. Despite being a one of the most

sloppy games to date, the Juniors took care of business and walked

away with the only thing that matters. A win.

Up next.

The Tampa Bay Juniors will play their second home and home series

with the Jr. Blades in 3 weeks this weekend. Florida’s elite team is

coming off a 6-5 loss to the last place Palm Beach Typhoon last

Thursday, but still are tied for second place in the division. Their

Premier squad picked up their second win of the season against Palm

Beach and currently sit in 4th place in the division. 

Tampa Bay will need to continue to take care of business and stay out of the box

in order to keep their hold on first place. Elite will go at 5:30 while Premier’s

puck drop will be at 8:15. Both games can be streamed on HockeyTV.

​Photo by Alex Walworth

 


 

 

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