This weekend the Florida Eels Junior program officially kicks off their 2016-17
regular season play. The Florida Eels Elite team first game is Saturday evening at 5:15 pm; it will be away in Ellenton where they square off against their west coast of Florida chief rivals the Tampa Bay Juniors. Game two against the Tampa Juniors will be back at home at the Fort Myers Skatium Sunday morning scheduled at 9:15 am. This rivalry has always been quite intense between these two organizations. The battle has been for west coast supremacy in the Sunshine State. Over the past 4 seasons the Eels have advanced to the USPHL/EJHL Frozen-Four in Boson Mass. No doubt the Eels have been the regular season and playoff leaders in Florida and in the Southeast. It was the Tampa Juniors who tripped the Eels out of the Frozen Four birth 2 years ago in the playoffs.
This has always been an acute rivalry with bitterly fought contest in Ellenton, the once home rink of the Eels 6 seasons ago. The Eels prove year in and year out to be one of the most successful programs in all of junior hockey with a phenomenal success in the advancement of its players to college hockey. Indeed the Eels have 175 alumni who went on to play college hockey with a high water benchmark of 25 this past season.
The Eels have a number of returning veterans in their line-up. Additionally, they have bolstered their Elite team with experience veterans and high end rookies from the 12+ showcases its coaching and scouting staff covered over the spring and summer months.
In goal for the Eels is last year’s USP3 standout Nolan Greene who will be sharing the duties with Trey Kovalick who played for the Syracuse Stars Elite team last season.
This season Frankie Scarpaci who was Head Coach of the Eels USP3 team for the last 4 seasons has moved up to take the helm. He just completed his 21-day training camp and one week of Elite team training. The pieces are falling into place quite nicely. The players are very exciting to watch. Coach Scarpaci maintains a high tempo strategy, as the Eels have been known for. We see our players jelling very well. Coach Scarpaci is a taskmaster with his players and has a strong reputation in getting every ounce of energy from his players. We look forward to the games this weekend and the upcoming season. We don’t know exactly what Tampa looks like as this is the first opportunity that we get to see the Tampa Juniors says GM Frank Scarpaci. But we can expect Coach Brett Stout to bring his best game to task this weekend. He always has a strong squad and they play the Eels well.
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