Round 1

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Friday, February 3rd, 2023              

Lightning High School Hockey League Playoffs - Round #1

TGH Ice Plex - Tampa 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Riverview Ice Sharks 0 0 0 0
Land O' Lakes Fighting Gators 0 0 1 1

Period Length

15:00 15:00 15:00  


Drew and the varsity Riverview Ice Sharks made the playoffs for the first time this year. Tonight they would face off against the Land O' Lakes Fighting Gators. Riverview and Land O' Lakes met once during the regular season, in the very first game of the season for either team, with the Ice Sharks taking the victory by a 6-2 margin.

There wasn't a lot to report on during the opening period of tonight's matchup, as the only official event to make it into the scorebook was a Fighting Gators penalty for hooking with less than five minutes remaining. Land O' Lakes was able to kill off the penalty, only allowing a single shot on goal during the two minute Riverview power play. The opening period would come to a close with the score tied at 0-0, with the Ice Sharks holding a 10-5 shot advantage.

The second period was similar to the first. Once again there was no scoring during the fifteen minute period, but there were some good looks for each team. Riverview took an interference penalty with just over seven minutes remaining, and gave up a couple of scoring opportunities but no goals while shorthanded. With a little less than two and a half to go the Gators were called for roughing, and they too were able to kill off that penalty. We would head into the final intermission with the scored still knotted at 0-0.

Land O' Lakes would take another roughing penalty with ten minutes to play in the third, and the Ice Sharks peppered the Gators net with shots, but they were unable to net the elusive goal that was needed to grab the lead. In order to give the team a rest, the Riverview coaches called for a timeout with just under six minutes to play. The brief break didn't lead to any extra offense for the Sharks, however, as the Gators would manage the next four shots on goal. It was that fourth shot that proved to be the difference maker, as a Gators forward fired a shot from the right circle that snuck under the arm of the Riverview goaltender, giving Land O' Lakes a 1-0 lead. The Ice Sharks would attempt to claw their way back to even, but they just weren't able to do so.

After the game Drew said that his team was convinced that they had scored the games opening goal, but that the Land O' Lakes goaltender somehow managed to pull the puck out of the net before the referees were able to see it. Although I missed it live, it appears that the puck is just about to cross the line in picture #9 below, which leads me to believe that he is correct. I also heard a parent next to me say that the puck crossed the line when viewed from that end of the rink. I'm not sure if the outcome of the game would have been any different, but it certainly would have changed how things went during the end of the game. Of course, replay isn't available, so we have to live with this ending...

Although it wasn't the outcome we wanted, it was a great season for the team. Way to go Ice Sharks!


Lightning High School Hockey League - Varsity Playoffs - Round 1 - Riverview Ice Sharks Varsity at Land O' Lakes Fighting Gators


Drew on the ice during warmups...


...firing a puck on net.


Drew and his teammates on the ice before the start of the game.


Drew appears to spot me in the crowd!


Drew racing after the puck through center ice.


Drew hounding a Gators skater in the defensive zone.


Drew battling for position and the puck in front of the net.


Drew circling through the zone in pursuit of the puck.


This shot that may have been a Riverview goal, according to Drew and some parents, but it wasn't called. It appears to be crossing the line here...


...before disappearing from sight in this shot...


...and being swept back out in this picture.


Drew trying to pounce on the loose puck...


...and reaching to corral it...


...before being pushed down to the ice.


Drew playing the puck behind the net.


Drew in a battle for the puck in front of the net once again.


Drew trying to set up in front of the net...


...and taking a few shoves to the back in the process.


Drew looking as his teammate pounces on the puck...


...and poking away as the Gators goaltender came across to make the save.


Drew and his Riverview Ice Sharks teammates slowly making their way on to the ice after the game ended.


Drew joining his teammates in the post-game handshake line.


Drew making his way through the handshake line.



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