July 14th, 2018
Bridgewater, MA – Team Tampa Bay played their third and final game of the 2018 Chowder Cup on Saturday at high noon against the Rice Prep Knights (Vermont). After a rough outing the night prior, the boys looked to bounce back in a big way and finish this trip on the right note.
Things started off better in game 3 for Team Tampa Bay than it did in the previous two games. It started well before the puck even dropped. It began in the dressing room well before the boys even took to the ice. Players finally began to emerge as leaders and united the group. It was clear they despised the feeling of last night’s loss. Spoiler Alert: It worked.
The team came out with fire and for the third straight game, they won the opening draw. There were countless chances created in the first fifteen minutes, most notably by DEMITRI SAMARKOS and ANDREW MIRANDA, however the boys up front weren’t able to convert as early as they would have liked. Fortunately, the blue line stepped up their game chipped in tremendously. They were checking well and sacrificing their bodies by blocking shots without hesitation. The work of XANDER PIVOVARNIK, ETHAN DYKSTRA, and CONNOR MORGAN stood out and were a beneficial contribution in keeping a shutout in the first period. DANIEL McCARTHY got the start in goal. He put on an absolute clinic. He faced twelve shots in the first period and denied any and all attempts Rice threw at him. I spoke to McCARTHY after the first period and he reiterated, “I can’t thank my defense enough, that was the best they have played all tournament.”
With eight minutes left in the first, a Rice Prep turnover led to a 3 on 1 break away with JOSH BURKE back handing a pass to CONNOR NICHOLSON who found the back of the net in route to potting the opening goal of the game. Less than a minute later, Tampa had possession in the offensive zone. A shot bounced of the Rice goalie and landed perfectly in front of Josh Burke who smashed home the second goal of the game giving Tampa a 2-0 lead as the first period ended.
At the start of the second, the boys came out fast and confident. They played flawlessly until conceding back to back penalties leading to a 5 on 3 shorthanded situation for nearly 2 full minutes. I hope you are sitting down for this folks, they killed that penalty like it was nothing. MAXX BUDD and ERIC THOMPSON were a crucial part. They laid out and block shots, putting their bodies on the line for the team. TYLER MOSCHELLA got the start for the second period, after watching his fellow goalie pitching a shutout all the pressure was on him to keep it going and that’s exactly what he did.
After the boys killed the 5 on 3, the game was all theirs. Folks I have to be honest with you, what ensued next was what I refer to as an “Aggravated shooting practice.” DYLAN SOUTHERN delivered DEMITRI SAMARKOS a beautiful pass and he smashed it home. Less than forty seconds later KYLE REPAR found CONNOR MORGAN who scored with ease. Tampa played with dominance for the next ten minutes and ANDREW MIRANDA ripped a shot from distance that found the top right corner of the net. I kid you not ladies and gentlemen when I tell you thirty-three seconds later ERIC BOWLES found himself on a breakaway and scored the sixth and final goal of the game.
WE. COULD. NOT. STOP. SCORING. GOALS.
Team Tampa won the game 6-0 ! It was a huge team win. Coach Adam Hall was thrilled after game, he was so proud of the boys and really impressed of how the team battled adversity all week. The team finished the tournament (1-1-1)