McCarron & Kirkpatrick Score Twice as ‘Blades Claim Game 1
May 12, 2018
Written by Keaton Hanley
ESTERO, FL – John McCarron and Michael Kirkpatrick each scored twice to guide the Florida Everblades to a 4-2 win over the Adirondack Thunder in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, in front of a racous crowd at Germain Arena Friday night. Florida leads the best-of-seven series 1-0.
The Blades kicked off the first period by showcasing their 5th ranked penalty kill, as they killed off two penalties in the first eight minutes of play. The Everblades killed off another power play in the last 2:50 of the opening period, leaving the two teams scoreless headed into the first intermission.
John McCarron got the Blades on the board first with 2:39 to go in the second period. After McCarron forced a turnover in the defensive end, Spencer Smallman got the puck to Dave Dziurzynski on the right circle before he chipped the puck to McCarron in the slot. McCarron settled the puck and wired a shot past goaltender Drew Fielding’s blocker side for the goal. The Blades took a 1-0 lead into the second intermission.
The Thunder tied it up just 2:36 into the third with a nice tic-tac-toe play from Paul Rodrigues at the point. Rodrigues delivered a pass low to Matthew Spencer at the right circle, and finally back to Ryan Schmelzer in the slot for the one-timer to beat Ouellette on the blocker side.
The Thunder grabbed a 2-1 lead at 6:33 at the end of a power play due to an errant clear by Clark Seymour that was stopped by Ryan Schmelzer. After hitting Schmelzer, the puck bounced to the stick of Troy Bourke who took it to the crease and backhanded a shot that snuck past Ouellette for the go-ahead marker.
John McCarron took it upon himself to tie things back up at two at 8:30 of the third. McCarron whipped behind the net and finished off a wrap-around attempt that squeaked into the back of the net.
Michael Kirkpatrick sent Germain Arena into a frenzy when he stole the puck while shorthanded and rocketed down the ice on breakaway chance. As a Thunder player tried to keep the puck in the zone, he slipped and fell to the ice and set Kirkpatrick up on a breakaway opportunity. Kirkpatrick cut across the crease on his backhand and lifted it over the pad of Fielding for the tally to regain the lead at 3-2.
Kirkpatrick wasn’t finished there, as he added an insurance tally with 2:15 to play in the game. Joe Cox and Kirkpatrick rushed into the zone and Kirkpatrick cut to the middle of the ice where he accepted a perfectly place pass from Cox. Kirkpatrick caught the puck on the backhand before switching forehand and burying his shot to extend the ‘Blades lead to 4-2.
The Thunder received a late power play in the final minute, and with the goaltender pulled, set up a 6-on-4 advantage. A shot from Blake Thompson at the point would be stopped by Ouellette, but the rebound bounced directly to James Henry on the backside, and he hurled it into the net to pull Adirondack within one with just six seconds remaining. However, Florida closed out the waning seconds and secured the 4-3 win.
Ouellette earned the win stopping 31 of the 34 shots fired his way, while field allowed four goals on 35 shots faced.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday (April 12) at 7:00 p.m. at Germain Arena.
2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs Schedule – Eastern Conference Finals
Best-of-Seven Series (Florida leads 1-0)
Game 1: Friday, May 11, Adirondack – 3 at FLORIDA – 4
Game 2: Saturday, May 12, Adirondack at Florida, 7:00 p.m. (Germain Arena) PURCHASE TICKETS
Game 3: Wednesday, May 16, Florida at Adirondack, 7:00 p.m. (Cool Insuring Arena)
Game 4: Friday, May 18, Florida at Adirondack, 7:00 p.m. (Cool Insuring Arena)
Game 5: Saturday, May 19, Florida at Adirondack, 7:00 p.m. (Cool Insuring Arena)**
Game 6: Monday, May 21, Adirondack at Florida, 7:30 p.m. (Germain Arena)**
Game 7: Wednesday, May 23, Adirondack at Florida, 7:30 p.m. (Germain Arena)**
** If Necessary
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