Coming off wins against the Florida Junior Blades, the Tampa Bay Juniors got another stab to take on the Florida Eels. The Elite and Premier teams for Tampa Bay saw wins at home, but on the road was a different story. Nonetheless, TBJ played hard and was happy with their results following the previous games against the Eels.
Elite’s Effortful Weekend
Back at home, the elite squad prepared for the Florida Eels for the first time since their lost to them in the Florida Cup Championship. While the Eels might have won the Florida Cup, Tampa Bay did a great job at striking back in game one of the two game series. The Juniors were able to take down the Eels 5-2 in what looked to be a strong win for TBJ.
The scoring started a little over midway through the first when Ari Blatt was able to get the Juniors on the board. Just under five minutes after Kevin Dionne was able to notch the first period goal total to two. The Juniors were able to do a great job of really taking control of this contest early.
Ensuing after in the 2nd period Joshua Skipper bumped the lead to three. The Eels broke free not to far after adding two scores to their total making the game 3-2. Sadly, for the Eels that would be the only times they saw the scoresheet the entire night. Richard Biszant immediately after made the game 4-2. In the third period, Connor Johnston-Ferris would add his 2nd of the year to the tally as TBJ would prevail over the Florida Eels.
Two days later Tampa Bay would travel to Fort Myers to finish out the home and home series. For the elite team, Sunday wasn’t as pleasing as Friday considering Tampa Bay fell 5-3 against the Eels in Fort Myers. Goals from Christopher Hardin and Frederick Bonebrake gave the Juniors a two-goal lead early in the first, but that lead would soon dissipate.
A three-goal run from the Eels stringing into the second would give them the lead 3-2. However, Garrett Bagnall was able to tie the game, but sadly the Juniors were unable to muster anymore goals. A very close game between the teams proved to be an exciting one yet again.
Premier’s Well-Matched Battles
As the Elite team was able to storm to a win on Friday, the premier team was hoping to do the same. Even though the Florida Eels premier team has proven to be very good, the Juniors were able to get the better of them at home with a 5-2 win.
In TBJ’s route of the Florida Eels, the premier team was able to get on the board first with a goal from Dawid Wawrzkiewicz. Not too far after Aleksis Ostankovics was able to add to that lead to make the game 2-0. The Eels were able to add two goals to their score to end the first period 2-2.
Thankfully for TBJ that would be the only goals they would give up the entire game. Later on, in the second period Aliaksandr Kamliuk would get his 2nd of the year to make the score now 3-2. Furthermore, Dawid Wawrzkiewicz and Aleksis Ostankovics would each add another goal adding to their already stellar nights to finish off the Eels.
Just like the elite team, premier was able to get a win at home, but on the road the team saw difficulty. A two-goal lead for the Juniors after the first period for the Juniors looked to be a great start. Philip Wsol scored his first of the season and Dawid Wawrzkiewicz who’d had a monster game two days before would also get on the scorecard.
A second period bout found Tampa Bay still up going into the third. Even though the Eels added two goals, Connor Nelson notched a goal for the Juniors as they proceeded to the third up 3-2. A tough third saw Tampa Bay give up two goals and lose the game to the Eels 4-3.
After a well contested weekend for the Juniors one thing is clear is that both teams are improving. Even though the Elite and Premier teams split games one an one with the Eels basically all of them were extremely close as well as competitive. A lot of different guys have been able to step up for the Juniors which has been big.
In particular, Dawid Wawrzkiewicz for premier and Kevin Dionne for Elite both have been on fire as of late. All in all, the teams at both levels are getting better as the weeks go by. We will see yet again how TBJ looks this coming weekend as they prepare to face off against the Florida Junior Everblades.
Photo by Maddie McGinty