In the Final games before the Thanksgiving break, The Tampa Bay Juniors feasted on a struggling Atlanta Madhatters. Although Elite did not play its best Game Saturday in a 3-2 win, they exploded for a season high 12 goals for a 12-4 win. Premier would dominate both of their games winning 7-1 and 5-2.
Elite’s Talent Carries them
There is no question that Tampa Bay was the more talented team. However, being the more talented team doesn’t always mean your win. Tampa Bay did not have its best effort on Saturday. However, it didn’t start that way. In the first minute, the juniors got a few chances and even a Penalty shot. However, they would fail to convert and opened the door for Atlanta to score the games opening goal. Despite the action early on, the rest of the game was rather uneventful. Both teams passing was off and there were long stretches where the puck was just be tossed around the neutral zone. However, Tampa Bay’s edge in talent would come through.
The Juniors would score the next 3 unanswered. Jake Duhaime would grab his 15th of the season to tie the game in the first. Then in the second Nash Cobbs and James Jorge would score a minute apart to give Tampa a 2-goal lead. Despite giving up a goal halfway throught the second, the defense would hold in the third period.
Whatever the Juniors didn’t do on Saturday, they did it on Sunday. Tampa Bay dominate the game from start to finish. Milan Levcenko picked up 2 goals for the third time this season while 10 other players would notch a goal. However, the biggest moment of the game came with less than a minute to go in the third. Forward Andrew Lewis shas been a hardworking player with the juniors for tree years. Sunday marked his 100th career game with Tampa Bay and he was rewarded with a goal. It was his first of the season and a special one for him and his teammates.
Premier dominated the weekend from start to finish. They scored six, first period goals between the two games. Rookie sensation Beau Courneya continued to stay hot with 3 points on the weekend. Cournyea paces the team in overall scoring with 26 points. Jonah Mortenson had a 4-point weekend, including a two goal performance on Saturday. Mortenson has scored 15 points in 14 games since joining the team. However, the main story continues to be Tampa’s offense production throughout the lineup. They do not have a player in the top 20, yet it has not inhibited their offensive success.
The biggest part of the weekend for premier was the success of their powerplay on Sunday. Coming into the weekend Premier’s powerplay had been anything but success. Ranked 59th out of 64 teams, their percentage was 11.8 percent. However, they would score 3 powerplay goals on Sunday. The best part, is that they looked good doing it. Their puck movement was quick and crisp. They got shots on net, did a great job of puck retrieval, and took advantage of second chance opportunities. The big question now is if they’ll be able to keep that momentum going.
The Tampa Bay Juniors will have the week off to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. They will be back in action on December 3rd, as they take on their biggest rival the Florida Eels. Puck drop will be at 5:30pm for Elite and 8:15pm for Premier. All the action can be seen on HockeyTV.