The FIHL faced off in the final games before the Thanksgiving break at Tampa Bay Skating Academy on Saturday, November 21 with the Aces facing off against the undefeated Sand Sharks and the Minute Men taking on the Sting Rays.
In game one, the Aces hung tough with the Sand Sharks until very late in the game, but the Sand Sharks emerged with a 7-4 win and an intact winning streak. Both teams scored within the first minute of the game on goals by the Sand Shark’s Nathan Souza and the Aces’ Josiah Martinez. The Sand Sharks took the lead with 15:10 left in the first period on a short-handed goal by Andre Bobowicz. The Aces tied it up at 2-2 when Gus Komarek scored with 11:52 left in the period. The Sand Sharks again took the lead with 1:18 left in the period on another goal by Bobowicz. The Sand Sharks opened up a two-goal lead with 4:34 left in the second period on a goal by Dave Beaudin, but the Aces cut that lead to one goal when Ferris Kritzer scored a short-handed goal with twenty-five seconds left in the second period. The Sand Sharks took a 5-3 lead with 7:08 left in the third period on Beaudin’s second goal of the night. The Aces responded with a power-play goal by Gavin Frost with 3:28 left in regulation to cut the Sand Sharks’ lead to 5-4. The Sand Sharks put the game out of reach with goals by Nathan Borek and Anderson Libby in the last two and a half minutes of the game to secure a 7-4 win. Shots on goal were Aces 25, Sand Sharks 53.
In the nightcap, The Minute Men and Sting Rays battled in a contest that saw the Sting Rays come out on top by a score of 6-5. The Minute Men and Sting Rays exchanged goals in the first minute of the game when the Minute Men’s Maxwell Mondo scored with 19:32 left in the first period and the Sting Ray’s Ben Morgan netted a goal twelve seconds later. The Minute Men took a 2-1 lead with 12:05 left in the first period on a goal by Vlad Handjiev, but the Sting Rays tied it up with 9:36 left in the period on a goal by Alex Myers. The Sting Rays took the lead with 17:19 left in the second period on a goal by William Johnston, but the Minute Men tied it at 3-3 on a goal by Wyatt Frontiero less than two minutes later. The Sting Rays regained the lead with 11:43 left in the period on a power play goal by Chandler Odell and took a 5-3 lead on a goal by Tyler McDuffie with 5:18 left in the period. The Minute Men cut the Sting Rays’ lead to one goal with 9:32 left in regulation on a goal by Alex Noti, but the Sting Rays answered with another goal by Myers with 8:10 left in the period. The Minute Men again got within one goal with 3:33 left in regulation on Mondo’s second goal of the night, but the Sting Rays were able to hold onto the 6-5 lead to the buzzer. Shots on goal were Minute Men 48, Sting Rays 39.