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The 2016-17 Florida Eels Elite Team..... Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 27 Feb 2017  
By: Frank Scarpaci

Eels Elite Success story…..


 this year was to bring in a compilation of
Eels experienced veterans some free agent vets and with high level rookies. The
creation resulted in what Head Coach Frankie refers to as “Consistency” He
vetted out guys with the wrong attitude or guys not willing to be coached.  Intangibles are so key for this level. He was
looking for an Eel” player. A player that has heart, determination dedication
fortitude and selfless. A player willing to do what ever it takes to make
himself better every time he hits the ice be it at practice, his next shift or
even in the gym. Coach Frankie hates the word complacency or entitlement. If
you that type of player there is no room for you on the Elite team or in the
organization as a whole.


We are building future college hockey
players. It isn’t easy. If it were everyone would be there. Oh no. Our training
starts with 3 weeks of intense training camp, then a grueling 5 days per week
of practices on ice and in the gym. It requires hundreds of hours of critique
video of Eels players and opposing teams. Often our players return to the rink
after a full day of ice and strength and condition at World Gym and shoot 100-150
pucks each day. Now that is determination and commitment. Others say they have
this, but in reality only a handful of other players do it. It is like the
“Will To Win” everyone says they have it. Of course who does not want to
win….But it is really the willingness to do 1500 hours of training and games
that measures that “Will”


The Eels this year was unlike the
last 4 seasons of heavy veteran players. This year we brought in 18 new guys
some veterans like
David Stonebraker Colin Jones Michael Gennello Nicholas
Magill-Diaz Andrii Rusakov Sven Nilsson Trey Kovalick, but there were key rookies
who made the transition to Elite Juniors that were equal to the task like
Jean-Simon Robidoux Colton Crabtree Nikita Lopatin
Blake Hoffman Richard Allgood Caden Tchop. The key was to have
the coaching ability to integrate these new comers rookies and veterans with
Eels vets like Clayton Boyd Brian Kozek Gavin Medina Zac Boyle Nicholas Kotz
Nolan Greene Jordan Court Rajhan Munnings and Brandon Hotaling.


many cases having three groups like this never works. The division is often two
wide. But Head Coach Frankie Scarpaci met this opportunity as a taskmaster. He
set out from the beginning the priorities of this team was just that: The team.
Folks had to buy in to his system. Everyone and he meant every player would be
given the opportunity at practice and games to write their script and role. But
no individualism. They had to be selfless. They had to work extra hard at
practice and at all the little things.


it took time and he was sure it would. But the team got better. Day by day.
Shift by shift game by game weekend to weekend. The chemistry, which was once
individual components, was now formed to cohesion: A team. The Eels once again
for the 5th straight year topped all the Florida Division Teams in
the regular season standings. That is simply remarkable when you think how many
guys were brought in.


in the playoffs was a new season for the Eels. The playoffs. The Eels took a
major step forward eliminated and sweeping no less the Tampa Juniors in their
series. This was the first time ever in franchise history that the Eels Elite
swept Tampa. Tampa was a very good team this year and that accomplishment was
not easy. So the Eels enter the 2nd round of the playoffs: The Eels
vs. Hampton. The Eels were ready to take on the Whalers as a very determined
group of men. They had worked hard all season and could taste the win. They
could feel themselves moving forward and advancing to the next round. – the Final
Round…..But their hopes and dreams were cut short over the weekend. Hampton was
able to stop the Eels in game one despite several earlier leads by the Eels.
The same result for the Eels in game two and the Eels season was cut short.


doubt the team was disappointed to say the least. But the team, the players and
coaches had no regrets. No second-guessing. 
They gave it their all. We could argue back and forth who was the better
team but in the end the hockey gods were not with us in those games and Hampton
was victorious.  We wished them well and
best of luck. That is who we are….But let there be no doubt that the Eel
players showed the entire world they came to play. No team showed more passion
and heart than these Eels Elite players. They brought so much to the ice.
Hampton was glad to rid the Eels of their rink.


Coach Frankie Scarpaci was extremely proud of his players – his team. They
worked very hard not just this weekend but for the entire year. 800+ hours to
be exact. 44 league games multiple scrimmages and several ACHA games. Hundreds
of video hours and so much more. These guys came prepared and laid everything
on the line. They brought everything to the game and each practice. This was such
a selfless team. They will not be judged by this round but where they will be
going to. These are high character young men he echoed and all have a tenacious
and insatiable work ethic. It is with their brains, skills, character, tenacity
and fortitude that will propel them to the highest levels not just in hockey
but in life says GM Scarpaci. We the Scarpaci family are honored and proud to
have had them part of our Eels organization. To their families thank you for
allowing us to have them here.

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