#USPHLPlayoffs: Florida Eels vs. Tampa Bay Juniors 

Florida Division 

Florida Eels (2) vs. Tampa Bay Juniors (3) 

All Games To Be Played At Fort Myers Skatium, Fort Myers, FL

Saturday, March 9, 4:30 p.m. EST

Sunday, March 10, 7:30 p.m. EST

Monday, March 11, 4:30 p.m. EST (If Necessary) 


By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com 

We’ve seen a few match-ups like this in this year’s playoffs – in which two of the USPHL Nationals participants from the same division are facing each other, with only one team being able to move on to the next level. 

Last year, the Tampa Bay Juniors and Florida Eels were the Florida Division’s participants at the Nationals, and neither team has really been a stranger there. Florida has qualified every year since 2018, while the Tampa Bay Juniors have qualified in 2018, 2020 and 2023. 

These two rivals are obviously very familiar, being part of the original Florida Division in 2017-18 (the Florida Jr. Blades are the other legacy team in the division). The Eels won this season’s series with a 4-2-0-1 record, though Tampa Bay won the last game between them on Feb. 15. Tampa Bay won both of the one-goal games this year, including a shootout on Oct. 27. 

“The Premier team has had a good week of practice in preparing for the Eels,” said Tampa Bay Head Coach Garrett Strot. “We know it is going to be a tight series as most of our games vs. the Eels come down to the last minute.”  

The Eels had seven players on their roster who averaged more than a point per game in a full season of 35 games or more. Noah Trathen, in his third Premier season, racked up 35 goals and a team-leading 73 points and finished his career with 120 points in exactly 100 regular season games. Trathen also led the team in plus-minus

Jared Salminen had 66 points in 40 games as the second leading scorer, while Brayden Goddared scored 43 points in 43 games from the blue line, and Goddard also led in blocked shots at 53. 

Goalie Tresor Wotton has come in and been a dynamo, going 5-2-0-0 with three shutouts and a save percentage of .921, while Dylan Boughen (10 wins) and Tobias Bell (15 wins) provide the depth every team needs for a big postseason run. 

For the Juniors, you will find 16 different players who scored double digits in points this year, with Premier veteran Livio Azevedo at the top with 43 points in 37 games. Grant Parshall, with 43 points as well in 36 games led the team in points per game at 1.26 and he led in plus-minus at +14. Lucas Ouellette also registered a point per game average with 21 points in his 21 games since joining in December. Defenseman Oliver Lundberg blocked 62 shots during the season to lead the Juniors defense.

Premier veteran Savva Serdiuk has been the backbone of the defense as the last line in goal, going 20-9-0-0 with a .912 save percentage.