|This morning marked the moment that the Riverview Ice Sharks
have worked hard for all season long - the beginning of the
Lightning High School Hockey League Junior Varsity Championships!
Their hard work during the regular season netted them 4th place in
the standings, and would pit them against the 5th place Manatee
Hurricanes in today's opening round.
The game started off as you
would expect between two closely matched teams, with each side
trading shots. The first period was particularly close, as each team
managed six shots apiece. It was Riverview who was able to "break
the ice" first, scoring a shorthanded goal on a breakaway just a
minute after taking a hooking penalty. Grabbing a 1-0 lead four
minutes into the game was just the start that the Ice Sharks were
looking for. Manatee took a penalty just three minutes after the
Riverview goal, but the Ice Sharks were unable to take advantage of
having the extra attacker on the ice. With just over two minutes to
go in the period, Manatee would convert a Riverview turnover into
their first goal of the game on a shot that hit the top corner of
the net. That tied the game at one goal each. With just 23.6 seconds
remaining, Manatee was given a prime opportunity to take their first
lead, as a Riverview penalty resulted in a penalty shot. Thankfully
the Ice Sharks goaltender was up to the task, stopping the shot
cold. The first period would come to a close with the two teams tied
at one goal each.
Manatee was all over the puck in the second period, and they
would complete a pass through the crease that was tapped in past the
Ice Sharks goaltender less than two minutes in. That would give them
the lead for the first time. Manatee would outshoot the Riverview
squad over the period's 13 minutes by a total of 8-4 margin, but
that goal would be the lone one scored.
Down by a 2-1 score entering the third and final period, the
Riverview Ice Sharks poured it on in an attempt to tie the game.
They would outshoot the Hurricanes by 12-6 over the course of the
period, but despite some good looks they just couldn't find a way to
get the puck in behind the Manatee goaltender. To make things worse,
Manatee widened their lead after Riverview failed to clear the zone.
A backhanded shot snuck past the Ice Sharks goaltender, making the
score 3-1 with just under five minutes to play. Overcoming a two
goal deficit is a daunting task, but the Ice Sharks didn't give up.
They continued to attack, and eventually pulled their goal to have
an extra skater on their side. Unfortunately it wasn't enough, and
the Riverview squad came up short in their inaugural season's
Here's looking to big things next season! Go Ice Sharks!