For the fourth time in as many years, the Tampa Bay Times Forum will play host to the high school hockey Lightning Cup Finals on Wednesday, February 13 at 7:40 p.m featuring East Lake and Mitchell. Prior to the Lightning Cup Finals, the first-ever Lightning Conference All-Star Game will take place on the Times Forum ice at 5:45 p.m. The two all-star teams will be coached by Tampa Bay Lightning alumni Brian Bradley and Dave Andreychuk, who will also do a ceremonial puck drop prior to the start of the All-Star game. The Lightning Cup Finals will be broadcast on the Bright House Sports Network.
The Lightning Conference is compiled of 18 Tampa Bay-area high school teams and the top eight teams competed in a single elimination tournament resulting in the East Lake vs. Mitchell final showdown Wednesday night. Players from East Lake and Mitchell who were selected to the All-Star game will not compete in the All-Star game and will not be replaced on the rosters.
East Lake, the defending Lightning Cup Champions, finished the regular season with the best record in the Lightning Conference with a mark of 17-2-0. They were led by Team Andreychuk All-Star selections Zane Katz and Austin Teall. Katz was East Lake’s top point producer with 18 goals and 31 assists while Austin Teall tallied 21 goals and 19 assists. East Lake’s goaltender David Johnson, also a Team Andreychuk all-star selection, compiled 17 wins and three shutouts during the regular season with a 2.54 goals-against-average.
Mitchell, the defending Tier II State Champions, finished the regular season just behind East Lake with a record of 15-2-2. Just like East Lake, Mitchell also has three all-star selections. Team Bradley selections are Evan Lugo, Reed Nichols and goalie Joey Robison. Lugo led Mitchell in goal-scoring and points with 25 goals and 47 points. Nichols amassed an impressive 21 goals and 21 assists while Robison collected 14 wins, four shutouts and posted a 2.18 goals-against-average.
The coaches from each Lightning Conference team selected two skaters from their respective team to compete in the Lightning Conference All-Star Game. Bradley and Andreychuk picked three goaltenders each to make up a 21-player roster for both teams. To be eligible to be selected to the 2013 Lightning Conference All-Star Teams players must be in good academic standing with their school and the Lightning Conference.
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