The FIHL hit the road with epic matchups at Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex on Saturday, December 12. The Minute Men were fighting to end the Sand Shark’s perfect record, while the Sting Rays and Aces were battling for second place in the league.

In the first game of the night, the Sand Sharks and Minutemen played a chippy matchup that saw the Sand Sharks come out on top 10-4. The Sharks had goals by Chadwick Sieler and Jacob Ingrassia in the first period while Alec MacDonald, who was playing his first FIHL game as a pool player, netted one for the Minute Men to cut the Sand Sharks to a 2-1 lead after one period of play. The Minute Men’s Alicia MacDonald (Alec’s twin) tied the score at 2-2 with 17:01 left in the second period on a power play goal. The Sand Sharks regained the lead five minutes later on a power play goal by Chris Maybury, then went on to add four more goals in the period, which included another goal by Maybury and two by Nathan Souza. The Sand Sharks added another three goals in the third period (Sieler, Anderson Libby, and Andrew Shillings) while the Minute Men scored twice on goals by Maxwell Mondo and Kyle Fanelli. Shots on goal were Sand Sharks 46, Minute Men 31.

In the second matchup, the Sting Rays and Aces played a tight game that saw the Aces hang on to win 5-4. The Aces took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Ferris Kritzer and Gavin Frost. The Sting Rays cut that lead to one goal with 6:08 left in the period on a goal by Tyler McDuffie and tied the game at 2-2 when Erik LaFlamme scored with 2:40 left in the first period. The Aces took a 3-2 lead with 17:02 left in the second period on a goal by Delaney Zerfass and went up 4-2 less than three minutes later when Frost scored his second goal of the night. The Sting Rays again cut the lead to one goal when Chandler Odell scored with 7:35 left in the second period. The Aces opened up a two-goal lead when Jackson Fox scored with 16:53 left in the third period, but the Sting Rays answered with 11:34 left in the period on another goal by Odell to cut the Aces’ lead to 5-4. The Sting Rays pressed hard on the power play in the last 1:44 of regulation but were unable to tie it up before the buzzer. The Sting Rays’ Madison Natter had three assists in the game. Shots on goal were Sting Rays 42, Aces 32.