Team Tampa Bay opened up with their first game against Team San Diego in the America’s Showcase tournament held in St. Louis, Missouri. The game was very physical and played well throughout the first two periods where Tampa jumped to an early 6-1 lead heading into the third period. The third started with San Diego netting three goals within the first ten minutes to tighten the score to 6-4.
Head Coach Nikita Alekseev called a timeout following San Diego’s fourth goal to regroup and get the attention of his players to not let the opponents back into the game. Following the timeout, Tampa responded adding two additional goals, bringing the score to 8-4. The physicality was a true test for team Tampa as they were faced with a much larger team in San Diego; but the agility, speed, and precise passing prevailed and got Tampa the win. Forward #16, Andrew Miranda (Bloomingdale) had a fantastic game with two goals and two assists. Defenseman #5 Connor Morgan (Plant) had a great afternoon with three assists. A post-game interview with Morgan revealed, “ I want the team to come out and work collectively as a unit. Also, I believe that the penalty kill and power play were effective.” Zach Katz (Seminole) and Demetri Samarkos (East Lake) each had two goals and an assist, as well as Dylan Southern (Durant) scoring one goal and also had himself an assist. Team Tampa plays tomorrow morning against Team Utah at 10:00 AM (CST).