The Lightning Conference championship is tomorrow night in a next-door-neighbor matchup between the East Lake High School Eagles and the Mitchell High School Mustangs. East Lake, my alma mata, is the defending Lightning Cup Champion.
I'll let the Tamap Bay Lightning's own press release about the event speak regarding the events slated for tomorrow:
TAMPA BAY TIMES FORUM TO HOST FOUTH LIGHTNING CUP FINALS, FIRST-EVER LIGHTNING CONFERENCE ALL-STAR GAME WEDNESDAY NIGHT
TAMPA BAY - 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.
Also of note regarding the local prep hockey scene, Tampa Bay Lightning team captain Vincent Lecavalier and his namesake charity, the Vincent Lecavalier Foundation, are getting involved with it.
...and the Florida High School Hockey Association is getting involved back. While Vincent is still several weeks away from his annual Cut For The Cure fundraising event (...and head shaving),...50 Florida High School Hockey association players will be taking part in a Cut For The Cure event during gameplay on Wednesday. Take a look:
THE VINNY LECAVALIER FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH
THE LIGHTNING CONFERENCE OF THE FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY ASSOCIATION
TAMPA, FL - February 12, 2013 - The Vinny Lecavalier Foundation will announce a new partnership with The Lightning Conference of the Florida High School Hockey Association (FHSHA) during The Lightning Cup Final to be held tomorrow evening at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Tampa Bay Lightning Captain and Foundation Chairman Vinny Lecavalier will be on hand for the puck drop and to make the announcement.
"This is an exciting time for me personally as my foundation expands its scope to support high school hockey throughout Tampa Bay," says Lecavalier. "I've been fortunate to be able to give back to the community in a meaningful way through our work with pediatric cancer and now I'm able to give back to my sport."
During the 1st and 2nd intermission, more than 50 young FHSHA players will shave their heads in support of Vinny's work with pediatric cancer and to raise funds for the 4th Annual Bright House Networks Cut for a Cure Charity Challenge presented by Carrabba's Italian Grill scheduled to launch March 1.
Through the new partnership, the Foundation plans to launch a new Vincent Lecavalier Star of the Week program designed to recognize Tampa Bay area high school hockey players for their work on and off the ice. While program and recognition criteria are in development, it is anticipated the program will recognize hockey's student athletes for their accomplishments in academics, athletics and community involvement. The "Star of the Week" program will then culminate in an "end of year" luncheon and awards ceremony following a practice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in the Spring of 2014.
In addition to the Star of the Week program, the Foundation will provide jerseys for players participating in the 2014 Lightning Conference All Star Game.
To date, the Foundation's work has focused on providing quality pediatric cancer treatment and patient care through The Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine in St. Petersburg, FL. To date, the Foundation estimates it has raised close to $2 million for pediatric cancer and served more than 12,000 patients through the Center.