‘Blades Establish Hard-Hitting Identity in 4-3 Win in Season Opener
October 13, 2017
Written by Keaton Hanley
ESTERO, FL — Joe Cox and Nelson Armstrong pick up their first career goals as the Florida Everblades earned their first win of the 20th Anniversary season over the Atlanta Gladiators by a score 4-3 in front of a lively crowd at Germain Arena.
The Blades got on the board first with a shorthanded tally at 9:10 into the first period. Clark Seymour sent a breakout pass from behind the ‘Blades blue line to Brett Bulmer who turned on the jets through the neutral zone and broke into the zone on a 2-on-1 with John McCarron. Bulmer sauced a pass through the Atlanta defender’s skates to McCarron on the back door to beat Atlanta goaltender Matt Ginn for the score, making it a 1-0 game.
That goal would not go unanswered, as the Gladiators put two quick ones on the board with the first coming off the power play. Thomas Frazee stuffed in a rebound that was sitting behind Ouellette after a hard shot from Josh Atkinson from the slot to even the score.
The Gladiators took the lead just forty-seven seconds later, when Darby Llewellyn knocked in a shot that was set up by Tanner Pond from the slot, with a cross-crease pass.
The Everblades received a breakaway opportunity from Mitchell Heard towards the end of the first but came up with nothing to head into the intermission trailing 2-1.
Everblades newcomer Dave Dziurzynski set the tempo for the second period by leveling forward Ben Danford in the middle of the Gladiators end as he received a pass from his defense as they tried to clear the zone.
At 9:25 of the middle frame, Joe Cox tied the game at two on the power play, scoring off a cross-crease feed. Cox fanned on his first shot before cleaning up the rebound for the tally.
Just 70 seconds later, the ‘Blades were buzzing in the Gladiators zone after the goal by Cox and added another goal to take the lead. Nelson Armstrong sent a shot that went wide and careened off the boards to MacAulay who was waiting on the side of the net to backhanded it off of Ginn’s pad and into the net.
Armstrong added a goal of his own 52 seconds later when his defensive partner Clark Seymour set him up for the one timer at the point. Armstrong sent a clap bomb past Ginn’s glove to extend the Florida lead to 4-2.
The Gladiators responded a little over a minute later with a fluky goal, as Lindsay Sparks skated in behind the net and threw the puck towards the slot to Paul Lane. Lane was able to sneak a shot past Ouellette for the goal, to make it a one-goal game again at 4-3.
The Blades controlled much of the third period, and were on top of the Gladiators whenever they were able to retrieve the puck, keeping the score 4-3 throughout the third to pick up their first win of the 20th Anniversary season.
Martin Ouellette recorded his first win as an Everblade, stopping 18 of the 21 shots fired his way. Matt Ginn takes the loss allowing four goals on 31 shots faced.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday at Germain Arena beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Upcoming Home Games
Saturday, October 14 vs. Atlanta, 7:00 p.m. Opening weekend continues as the first 3,000 fans will receive a 20th Anniversary Commemorative poster presented by Bud Light. The throwback jerseys worn by the team will be auctioned off following Saturday’s game to benefit youth hockey. There will also be another pregame ceremony as we honor past players and Hurricane Irma first responders.
2017-18 Ticket Packages are Currently on Sale! We offer full season and flexible partial plans that will best fit your schedule and budget! To view pricing and benefits of all available ticket packages CLICK HERE
SPECIAL OFFER! Purchase a new ticket package for the 2017-18 season and receive a $20 gift card to Ford’s Garage!
Discounted Group Tickets: Bring your group of 10 or more to a game at a discounted price! Group tickets are available for all home games. Fundraising opportunities are also available. For more information on group tickets, call 239-948-7825, or stop by the Everblades offices at Germain Arena Monday thru Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate
of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes