Florida Alliance wins ’09 tournament with big performances from Trevor Daley and Justin Fernandez
Florida Alliance captured the 2023 Champions League title this past weekend in their home state. It was a pair of prolific scorers leading the way at various points of the tournament.
Justin Fernandez and Trevor Daley were unstoppable at different times, creating a one-two punch that carried the 2009-born club to a 6-1-0 record. That was enough to earn a tournament championship against international competition at the Florida Panthers IceDen.
Fernandez Fuels Florida Through Pool Play
Fernandez led the Alliance in scoring through the round-robin play to kick things off in a big way. He registered five goals and five assists in four games; a more than two-point-per game average. Only a collection of Finnish skaters — Toomas Reijonen, Aleksi Leinonen and Jusso Fredrikson — topped or matched Fernandez in preliminary-round scoring.
With that impressive display of offensive production, teams knew they had to keep tabs on Fernandez heading into playoffs. There, he was contained to five total points in three games. Still an impressive stat line but certainly slowed from his round-robin pace.
So that’s when Trevor Daley took over.
Elite Play from Daley in Elimination Rounds
In the quarterfinals against the NA Stars, Daley recorded two goals and an assist to power the Alliance to a 7-1 win. The son of former Stanley Cup champion Trevor Daley, he set up Florida’s first goal, which evened the score 1-1 in the middle of the first period. Then, the younger Daley went on to score the go-ahead goal eight minutes later.
Daley added another strike in the second period to make the score 5-1. That effectively putting the game out of reach and secured the win for his Alliance squad.
In the semifinals, Daley again helped the Alliance to victory with a 6-3 win over Finland-based Tappara. Florida was the only team to beat Tappara in the tournament, after they prevailed 5-1 in the preliminary round on Dec. 29th. In the New Year’s Eve semifinal rematch, Daley posted a goal and two assists. First, he set up Reese Tracy’s goal that made it 2-0 early in the first period. Later on, Daley scored to make it a 5-3 game before getting the second assist on Fernandez’s power-play goal. That performance solidified Alliance’s spot in the final.
Saving The Best For Last
The scoring spree from Daley continued into the final. He factored into all but one of Alliance’s goals in a 5-1 victory over SPA Futures. After Logan Anderson scored a goal for Florida early in the first period, Daley set up Fernandez for another tally. Daley wasn’t done there, as he scored a short-handed goal after that. Florida went up 3-0 quickly.
After SPA scored to pull within two, Daley found the back of the net for his second goal of the night. And moments later, he’d put a bow on his performance — and the team’s tournament run — by setting up Fernandez once again to round out a four-point night.
Daley finished with 13 points in the tournament, while Fernandez had 15. Additionally, Reese Tracy registered 14 points in the seven contests. While Daley, Fernandez and Tracy led the charge up front, it was Nello Torriero taking care of business at the other end. He logged every minute of goaltending duties for Florida, finishing with a 6-1-0 record, a .854 save percentage and 1.86 goals-against average with one shutout. In five of his seven games, he held the opposition to a one goal or fewer.
Pisarcik, Ozogany Lead Euros in Offensive Production
SPA came up short in the championship game, but it wasn’t from a lack of effort from two talented forwards. Samuel Pisarcik led the playoffs in scoring with 10 points in three games, while Oliver Ozogany had seven.
Pisarcik, a forward from HK Dukla Trenčín in Slovakia, finished the tournament with 14 points over his seven games. Ozogany, a forward who plays for HOBA Bratislava in Slovakia in the regular season, had 13 during his trip to Florida.
With the tournament all wrapped up, Fernandez ended up leading the whole field in scoring with 15 points. Tracy was right behind him with 14, as was the aforementioned Pisarcik of SPA and Reijonen of the Kiekko-Espoo Blues out of Finland. Reijonen was the only skater to produce that many points in just six games, compared to seven for the rest of the group.
Kasper Aihinen of Kiekko-Espoo finished with a .901 save percentage and 2.57 goals-against average in five games – he was the only goaltender to crack the .900 save percentage mark. Torriero, as previously mentioned, posted a 1.86 goals-against over his seven contests for tops in that category.
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