‘Blades Tame Jackals in Game 1

April 5, 2013


ESTERO, Fla – Mike Merrifield and David Rutherford each chipped in a goal and an assist to lead the Florida Everblades to 5-1 victory over the Elmira Jackals in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Friday night at Germain Arena. The ‘Blades hold a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. .

Elmira came out on the attack, racing out to a 9-1 shots on goal advantage. Goaltender Jesse Deckert was able to hold of the Jackals assault and keep the puck out of the net.

Despite being on their heels early in the game, the ‘Blades got on the board first at 7:45 of the opening period when defenseman Mike Ratchuk fed a pass from behind the net to Mathieu Roy. Roy took the shot from the left wing circle and sent the puck sliding past Jackals goaltender Maxime Clermont for the goal.

Seven minutes later, Mike Merrifield accepted a pass from Brandon MacLean and fired a wrist shot toward the net which skipped off the pad of Clermont and trickled across the goal line to put the ‘Blades on top by two.

Elmira got on board late in the first period. Kyle Bushee jumped into the play and received a backhanded pass from Louie Caporusso took a shot from the top left side of the crease and pushed the puck past Deckert. The Blades held on to their 2-1 lead at the end of the first period.

The second period saw some intense plays as both teams continued to battle it out. With only 17 seconds remaining in the period and the ‘Blades on the power play, Adam Brace took a shot from the half boards. The puck bounced off the stick of a Jackals defenseman in front and snuck past Clermont. Brace’s goal lifted the Blades to a 3-1 lead over the Jackals at the end of the second.

The ‘Blades continued to press in the third. Halfway through the period, David Rutherford accepted a pass from Maury Edwards and took the puck past two defenders in front of the net. Rutherford fired the shot high past the glove of Clermont to extend the lead to 4-0.

Minutes later, Mike Merrifield led a 2-on-1 rush into the zone, and passed the puck across the slot to A.J. Jenks who backhanded the puck past Clermont for the goal to put the score at 5-1.

The game ended with some physical play and a couple of altercations, but the ‘Blades secured the 5-1 win.

Deckert was impressive stopping 29 of 30 shots faced, while Clermont takes the loss allowing five goals on 28 shots in the game.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow for Game 2 at Germain Arena beginning at 7:00 p.m.

#4 Florida Everblades vs. #5 Elmira Jackals (Florida leads 1-0)
Game 1 – Friday, Elmira  – 1  at  Florida – 5
Game 2 – Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 10 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Elmira
Game 4 – Friday, April 12 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Elmira
Game 5 – Saturday, April 13 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Elmira (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Monday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)
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