ESTERO, Fla. – The Florida Everblades new-comer and NHL player Ryan O’Byrne tallied a goal and assist to help the Everblades to secure a 4-3 victory over the Greenville Road Warriors in front of an annonced crowd of 6,579 at Germain Arena Saturday night.
The ‘Blades started the game craving to score first. Ryan O’Byrne grabbed the puck in the slot and fired the puck from the right side of the circle. The puck glided underneath the pad of Warriors goaltender Nathan Lieuwen at 1:28 of the first period. The goal was the first for O’Byrne in the ECHL, whose goal initiated a shower of teddy bears in honor the annual IBERIABANK Teddy Bear Toss.
It didn’t take the Warriors long to catch up in the first period , as Sean Berkstresser accepted a perfect pass in stride in the offensive zone, took it to the net and deked to his backhand and beat ‘Blades goaltender Pat Nagle to tie the game at one.
The Warriors added their second goal at 2:09 into the second period as Francis Verreault picked up a pass at the top of the crease, and the puck between the pads of Nagle to score.
Moments later ‘Blades answered on their end, on a tic-tac-toe pass play which was finished off by David Rutherford. Rutherford sailed a wrist on the backside of Lieuwen for the goal to tie the game at two.
Florida took the lead on the powerplay when Mathieu Roy swung the puck through the crease to Matt Beca, who wristed the puck from point blank range on the backside to score to end the second period with 3-2 mark.
Eager for another goal, the ‘Blades began the third period off strong as Justin Shugg in the slot, shoved in a rebound shot from the right side of the boards and shot it past an outstretched Lieuwen.
With 1:35 remaining in regulation the Warriors made a comeback bid, when Marc-Olivier Vallerand scored on a wrist shot from the left side circle which screamed past Nagle to pull with one 4-3.
The Warriors for the final 90 seconds of the game threw everything they had at the Everblades, but failed at scoring the tying goal allowing the Everblades to escape with a 4-3 victory.
Nagle earns the win stopping 28 of 31 goals while Nathan Lieuwen suffers the loss allowing four goals on 19 shots faced.
Florida’s next home game is Wednesday, December 19 at 7:30 against Orlando. Fans can skate with
The Capital Bank Box Office is open Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Fans may also call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, or order online atwww.ticketmaster.com
Partial-season packages are still available and start as low as $150, and offer a flexible option for fans.The packages make for great holiday gifts for the hockey fan in your life. For more information on all available packages, call the Everblades office at 239-948-7825, or purchase tickets online.