The Eels defeated the Jr. Blades today in a real old fashion barn burner. The Eels were victorious 3-2 in game 3. This series positioned two of the most heated rivalries in Tier III Junior hockey. The Jr. Blades and the Eels. The Eels 10-1 handedly won game one on Saturday with a clear cogent and convincing win.
On Sunday the Jr. Blades took it by surprised to the Eels and fell 5-2. Coach Frankie Scarpaci regrouped his players and insisted to get back to basics and stick to and believe in our system. Today it was the Eels players we knew. It was the determined, disciplined, focused and hungry player. It was the players who bought in to the Eels game plan. They accepted that loosing is not an option.
Well the boys came out to make a statement and came out on fire. This was an intense game with as many hits as were shots. The fore-check as hard as back checking. The Eels were blocking shots driving to the net and doing everything humanly possible to bring home the win. You could see it in their faces. Every shift the boys came off exhausted. But they were ready to go back out and do their job.
The Jr. Blades managed to get on the scoreboard first at 8:06 into the first period. But the Eels did not flinch. They were not the least bit rattled. They knew we wouldn’t win this game in a shut out. We just had to stay to our game plan. We had Nolan Greene in net and he is the best goalie in the USP3 division and he would hold down the fort.
Then the Eels struck goal. #11 Max Gruzdev
(even strength) (#24 Andrej Stankevich
, #18 Michael Kohler
But The Jr. Blades took advantage of a power play. The Jr. Blades were now up by 1. The score being 2-1 the game went into the 2nd period Jr Blades in control.
The game continued at a very high tempo and the Eels had to kill off two penalties leaving the Jr. Blades speechless.
In the 3rd period #11 Max Gruzdev
scored his second of the day (even strength) (#18 Michael Kohler
, #15 Robert Cerepak
) This brought the Eels ahead 3-2. The building almost exploded. There were 500 people strong in attendance. It was so loud you could not hear a thing. The Eels then had 3 straight penalties to kill off and the Jr. Blades made their huge push to gain a tie. But the Eels penalty killers were awesome. Moreover Nolan Greene was a monster in net shutting down any offense attempted by the Jr. Blades. With over a minute to go the Jr. Blades pulled their goalie to add an extra skater and were able to garner face offs in the Eels zone. The Eels mounted their best defensive posture and closed the door while Eels Goalie Noland Greene showed everyone why he truly is the best netminder in the entire USP3 division. He faced 50 shots this afternoon and was spectacular.
In the end the Eels won. This was a huge win for the Eels. The USP3 team joins its Elite team in moving on to the USPHL playoffs hosted as part of the Beantown Classic in Marlboro Ma March 9-11th. The Florida Eels and Hampton Roads are the only organization that has two of its teams playing in the USPHL Playoffs. In fact this marks 2 out of 4 years that the Eels will be sending both its Elite and USP3 teams to the league championships. It is 3 out of 4 years that our Elite team made it to the league championship. Now that is very impressive.
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