7-1 Loss to Division Rival Palm Beach Hawks
Atlanta, GA – Disorganized defense lead the Jr. Blades to a heartbreaking 7-1 loss to MET South division rival Palm Beach Hawks and a first-round elimination in the Frozen Four Championship.
“It was a lack of execution,” says 18-year-old forward Josh Stanclift. “We gave up six two-on-one’s, which killed us. Defensive zone play was brutal.”
“We got ahead of ourselves and started looking at the possibility of nationals rather then focusing on the game at hand, and we paid for it,” adds 19-year-old forward Jimmy Williams.
The loss was unexpected after a clean, four-game sweep at the President’s Day Showcase in Massachusetts two weeks ago that earned Florida a bid to the Frozen Four.
The Jr. Blades still can earn a wild card bid to nationals at the Keegan Cup Finals and Wild Card Series held at Ice Line Arena in West Chester, PA March 18 – March 20.
From the league:
“The Wild Card playoff series will be comprised of the three runners up from each North divisional playoff and the top 3 runners up from the Southern divisional playoff. The Wild Card Series is to earn one of two Wild Card spots for Nationals.”
“Although we are frustrated and disappointed by the weekend’s outcome, we have a great deal to be happy with from our season,” says Head Coach Tad O’Had. “With a regular-season finish of second place, we are given a second chance to redeem ourselves.”
“We have two weeks to prepare for Philly,” says Stanclift. “We need to focus on execution in the D-zone. Two weeks is a lot of time and is just what we need.”
“We learned from our mistake and now we’re looking to secure a bid through a strong performance in Philly,” says Williams. “I’m looking forward to playing in a situation where we play with emotion and win. We set a goal of getting to nationals and we are going to achieve it.”