The Tampa Bay Juniors took all four games this weekend in their matchup with the Palm Beach Typhoon. Premier played a tight game Friday and came away with a 4-3 win then took care of business on Sunday winning 6-3. Despite not playing their best game, Elite was still able to dominate with a 7-0 at home. Then Sunday on the road they controlled the game and completed the sweep with a 9-4 victory.
Despite being in last place, Palm Beach’s premier squad has done a great job of playing well at Advent Health Center Ice, and Friday was no different. They are a big, physical team with hints of skill scattered throughout the lineup. Despite Tampa Bay getting a few chances, it was Palm Beach that would grab the early on a John Brace goal. However, Tampa Bay would come right back and get two unanswered tallies to end the period. The first coming from Tim Ruf. Then with 5:34 remaining in the period Beau Courneya would hold the puck in the zone and find Noah Weisjahn at the circle. Weisjahn would slide it to a wide-open Ryan Bahula who would put it into an open net and give Tampa Bay the lead.
Both teams would trade goals in the second. Just a 1:27 in Jonah Mortenson would go end to end and put it through the five-hole of goaltender Blake Valli. Then less than a minute later, Aidan Duffort would put a third chance opportunity past the diving Onni Taskilla to cut the Tampa lead back to one.
Since Losing to the Blades 3 weeks ago, premier has done a much better job of holding on to lead late in games. This game would be another steppingstone in that development. Premier held Palm Beach Scoreless for nearly two whole periods after giving one up early in the second. Despite giving up a goal with 30 seconds to go, Parker Chadwell had already sealed the deal with an empty net goal.
Sunday’s game looked nearly identical to Friday’s game. Palm Beach jumped out to lead and were quickly followed by two Tampa goals coming from Filip Kuba and Connor Nelson. Then both teams would trade goals in the second giving Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead heading in to the third period. However, it would be all Tampa in the third. The Juniors scored three goals within the first 10 minutes of the period and never looked back. 12 separate players would score points in Sunday’s matchup. This included 2 goals from Connor Nelson and a hat-trick by Jack Fleer. 5 other players would record multiple points in a resounding 7-4 win.
Elite’s Talent Takes Hold
Although Palm Beach’s premier team always puts up a fight, the same cannot be said about their elite squad. They can barely hold on to puck and can hardly make passes in the neutral zone without turning pucks over. With this in mind, Tampa had some of the same troubles early on. There were stretches of time where the puck would just be tossed around the neutral between each team. Despite the Juniors holding a large talent advantage, they were only able to muster two goals in the first two periods. Bryson Uhrig would grab his 14th of the season oin the first while Brennan Robbins scored a beautiful goal in the second.
Despite not playing their best, Tampa Bay would start to cash in on their opportunities in the third. Tampa Bay would score five goals from five different goal scorers. Jake Duhaime picked up a goal and an assist, while Tyler Macindoe picked up two assists.
Unlike Friday, Tampa Bay’s offense exploded in the first half of the game. They would score 5 goals in the first 30 minutes of the game. They would finish the period with 3 more goals from Daniel Yusupoff, Bryson Uhrig, and Jake Duhaime who capped off a monster weeked with a hat-trick. Milan Levcenko would tap on in early in the third, as they skated away with a 9-4 win and a weekend sweep of the Typhoon.
The Tampa Bay Juniors will take on the Florida Eels in a home-and-home set this weekend. The Eels premier team comes in on a 4-game win streak after the sweeping a 3-game set with Atlanta last weekend. They are now tied with the Juniors for first place in the Florida division. The Elite team is just as hot and has won 5-in-a-row and are now only 2 points behind Tampa Bay for first place. With first place on the line in both games, it is set to be an exciting matchup. Friday’s games will be at 5:30 and 8:15, while Sunday’s games are at 10:30am and 1:00pm EST. Elite will play first on both days. The games can be streamed on HockeyTV.