Jr. Everblades 10U AA assistant coach Dan Guenther recaps the team's experience at the SAHOF State Championship:
The Everblades squirt 10UAA team placed second in the SAHOF State Tournament at Germain Arena this past weekend. After winning two highly contested one goal games the Blades secured a spot in the championship game. The championship game appearance marked the second straight season head coach Matt Spiller and assistant coach Dan Guenther guided their team into the state championship game. Florida fought hard but ultimately fell to the Brandon Bulls in the final game. However, the second-place finish in the state capped a strong season for the team overall.
The first game of the tournament featured a goaltending battle with the Palm Beach Blackhawks. Aidan Ehrich, the Blades goaltender, made several key stops in the game and Oliver Svoboda scored the first goal and Dominic Doyle scored on a rebound in front in the third period that proved to be the game winning goal to give the Blades the 2-1 win. Florida then fell to the eventual champions Brandon Bulls 4-1 in the second preliminary game.
However, after securing the key two points with the win over Palm Beach, the Blades found themselves as the second seed in the semifinals facing the Central Florida Bears who earlier knocked off the regular season champion Florida Panthers. The Everblades used two goals from Owen Kaska and Dominic Doyle to jump out to a 4-1 lead in the semi-final game against the Bears. Florida goaltender Aidan Ehrich again made several key stops late in the game and the Blades played smart defensive hockey down the stretch to hang on for a 4-3 win, securing a spot in the final game.
The team found themselves down 2-0 early in the championship game and could not find the back of the net and suffered a 5-0 loss to the Brandon Bulls.
All in all, the second-place finish in the state was a great end to the season for the team, coaches Spiller, Guenther and Hambling encourage everyone to work hard and have fun in the offseason!
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