Team Tampa faced Team Utah this morning in St. Louis for America’s Showcase and came away victorious with a winning score of 7-3. The game was physical and quick, which produced a good flow to the game with an offensive tilt in favor of Tampa, who quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead off the hands of Dmitry Samarkos (East Lake) 24 seconds after puck drop. Shortly after Tampa notched another two goals bringing their lead to 3-0. Following a tripping penalty handed down to Tampa’s Eric Thompson (East Lake) resulting in a penalty shot being awarded, Utah would get on the board bringing the score to 3-1. Following the penalty shot, Troy Burkhart (Plant) stood tall for Tampa, turning aside 14 of 17 shots. Dylan Southern (Durant) had a strong offensive game and scored two goals to add to his tournament total to 4 points.
In a first-star caliber performance, Andrew Miranda (Bloomingdale) netted a hat trick along with an assist totaling 4 points in the game, bringing his tournament total to a team leading 8 points (5 goals, 3 assists). Miranda brought his game to the next level and seemed to be in position almost every time when he needed to be, and was rewarded accordingly on the score sheet. The defensive front Tampa presents is a strong force with few flaws. Vincent Margosian (Freedom), Maxx Mitchell (Seminole), Joseph Davis (Wiregrass), Connor Morgan (Plant), Ethan Brown (Newsome), and Ethan Terliamis (Mitchell) have been very effective in the defensive and offensive zones. The team has produced offensively notching 8 points in two games. Their offensive play has kept the majority of play in the offensive zone with a strong stand on the blue line. It seems that the opposing teams in the tournament are physically bigger and stronger, but the speed of Team Tampa has been dominant and effective. They’ve stood their ground and are proving the point that they are great players that are playing really well together and are a force to be reckoned with in the later stages of the tournament.
With the victory over Utah, Team Tampa Bay improves to 2-0 in the tournament. Tampa will face-off against Team North Dakota in the final game of pool play tomorrow 4-21-2018 at 10:00 AM (CST).