Wesley Chapel, FL - Tampa Bay Juniors Premier and Elite teams both reached their preseason goal of making it to Utica, NY for the USPHL Nationals! Marking an end to a very successful 22-23 season.
Both the TBJ Premier and TBJ Elite won their respective best of 3 divisional playoff games. Premier defeated the Atlanta Madhatters 2 games to zero with good team defense and goaltending by Blake Mons. Game 1 saw Noah Weisjahn net the game winner just 12 seconds in o.t. Game 2 TBJ would jump to 3-0 first period lead in a 5-3 win securing its spot in Nationals!! The line of Connor Nelson, Jonah Mortenson & Beau Courneya combined for 11 points in the 2 games.
Elite also won their series with Palm Beach Typhoon 2 games to zero. They won game 1 by a score of 6-3 led by 2 goals from Kevin Dionne. The Elite closed out Palm Beach in game 2 with a 5-1 win led by Ari Blatts 2 goals, punching their ticket to Utica!!
TBJ Premier would go 1-1 in the seeding portion of the tournament. They would lose game 1 to eventual champion Northern Cyclones 4-2 with Nelson and Mortenson scoring the 2 goals. Mons made 29 saves. In game 2 Tampa would defeat Pacific division winners Las Vegas Thunderbirds 4-2. Nelson and Mortenson would score again along with Courneya and Philip Wsol. Onni Taskila made 27 saves for the win.
In the round of 16 Tampa would lose 5-1 to Wilkes-Barre with Nelson netting the only goal as Tampa had nothing left in the tank after a short turnaround from the Vegas game the night before. Nelson ended the season as the leading scorer for TBJ Premier with 29 goals and 25 assist for 54 points.
TBJ Elite would go 0-3 in Nationals. Game 1 they lost a tough 6-4 game to the eventual champions Carolina Hurricanes. Curran, Cullen, Sickles and Skipper would score for Tampa in the defeat. Game 2 saw a must win game for Tampa as it faced Wilkes-Barre but Wilkes would jump out to a 3 goal lead before Cullen and Trussler scored late to bring Tampa within one. With goalie Dylan Bruce pulled Tampa couldn’t get the equalizer before Wilkes scored in the empty net ending Tampa’s chances of moving on.
In game 3 Tampa would drop the game 6-4 to IHC. Ethan Curran was the lone bright spot as he scored the hat trick! Blatt would lead the Elite team in scoring with 23 goals and 22 assist for 45 points.
Congratlations to both teams on a successful 22-23 season!!!
23-24 Season Begins
Now that the 22-23 season is over the 23-24 season begins with camps and recruiting. Tampa Bay Juniors will be hosting an evaluation/tryouts May 6 & 7 at their home rink AdventHealth Center Ice. Players interested in trying out for TBJ should register at tampajr.com