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Florida Eels Elite Team Edges the Palm Beach Hawks 6-4 Junior Hockey News

Published: Saturday, 23 Jan 2016  
By: Frank Scarpaci


That sums up last nights performance by both teams. If you were watching the game you would have thought after the first 36 seconds the Eels are going to light things up here tonight. The Eels had 3 shots on net in the first 20 seconds. The first line of Zac Boyle Alex Sanchez and Josh Delezeene smothered the Palm Beach Netminder. Then line two goes out and immediately after winning the face off Clayton Boyd scores the first of the night. 4 shots in 36 seconds and the score is Eels up by one. 

At 2:45 into the period Palm Beach goes in the box for slashing. The Eels again flexing their muscle on the power play. Connor Annett wins the draw over to Brandon Rosario and he sends it to Assistant Captain Jonathan Carlson. Carlson shots a hammer form the point and bingo Eels up by 2 at only 3:00 minutes into the game. Things look very bad for the Hawks. 

Coach Tim for the Hawks gathered his troops on the bench and had a few words. Echoing… “Don’t panic. Yelling get the puck in their zone and shoot.” Well with 4:40 into the game Palm Beach scored an even strength goal closing the gap and deadening the extreme high the Eels were flying on. Then the Eels were about to get back on track. Looking to recapture a 2-goal l lead. They were given the opportunity to get back on track like they had in the first 3 minutes.  The Eels went on a Power play as the Hawks got called for tripping. The big guns for the Eels got the nod but to say nothing good came out of this power play was the understatement of the game. 

Indeed, the Hawks took advantage of a faulty pass to the point as their player forced a turn over and exploded to the net beating Matt Schneider effectively bringing the game to 2-2.

The Eels went into the break with a tied score and it was not what was forecasted after the first 3 minutes. No doubt a wake up call was in order. Period one was indeed “Wild” as the Eels announcer referred it to be on Fasthockey. A hockey version of Fast and Furious. There were 8 penalties in just the first period. Five for the Hawks 4 for the Eels. The referee was calling an extremely tight game. The penalties were not good ones on either side. Holding Tripping Slashing. Simply uncalled for on both sides.

Period two looked like a completely different game. The pace was much slower. The teams looked like they lost a step. They were both trying to find themselves here. Interesting there were no penalties by either team. You would have thought with 8 penalties in period one it would have been slow the pace down like this. You would have thought period 2 would have been wide open. But it wasn’t.
Brandon Rosario took matters into his own hand and scored a nice goal with a little over a minute into the period. He demonstrated the work ethic of the Eels and drove to the net. He has been playing great of late. Great hustle. Then mid way through the period at 12:35 into period Zac Boyle scored a beautiful goal to give the Eels a two-goal lead. Since his return to the lineup Zac has been one of our most consistent players. He dominates at center. Winning key face-offs, hits shoots and back checks. He came to play this game and his presence was clearly being felt. 

One thing for sure was Palm Beach wasn’t going away. They were not tanking. They were not caving in. Again the Palm Beach bench was active and mapping out game plans and at 14:20 Palm Beach scored narrowing the gap to within 1.

That ended the period. The Eels wanted this win very badly as did the Hawks. This was anyone’s game at this point. Up to that point Palm Beach unleashed 30 shots on the Eels goalie Schneider and the Eels 21 on the Hawks goalie. There were 7 goals scored over all. The Eels had one power play goal. The Hawks scored 2 even strength goals and one short-handed goal. The next period everything needed to be left on the ice. The 2 points here were huge. 

Period three was more of the same kind of game. Sixteen shots rifled by the Hawks to compare to fifteen by the Eels. Another close contest up and down the ice. Then the first line of Boyle Sanchez and Delezeene went back to work.  

Boyle again taking the leadership role pushed through the Hawks line of defense and scored his second of the night assisted by Sanchez and Delezeene. Again the “See Saw” continued as the Hawks wouldn’t quit and scored at 11:24 of the third bring the game back within a 1 goal margin.  No doubt you could feel the frustration in the air. The game, which we thought, was going to be blow out turned out to be too close for comfort. 

The Hawks coaches knew they had to pull their goalie to win. The Eels players knew this as well. It was matter of timing. Once the Hawks had an empty net the Eels Carlson forced the Hawks turn over passing it over to Sanchez and handed it up to    Josh Delezeene who capitalized on the opportunity by scoring an empty netter sealing a 2 goal lead and the win. 

The Eels Elite are off Saturday and will be heading to Palm Beach along with the USP3 team for the away games in West Palm Beach. No doubt the Hawks will be looking to avenge the loss. The Eels will be looking for a much tighter game and more in tune to their style. The Eels keep teams to less than 3 goals a game and you can rest assure coach Jason will regroup his players to think defense for the Playoffs.

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