ESTERO, Fla. – The Greenville Warriors overcame a two goal deficit to force overtime and defeat the Florida Everblades in a shootout, winning the game 5-4 at Germain Arena Friday night.
The 'Blades started the game hungry in the first period however, the Warriors came out more aggressive and scored the first goal of the night at the 14-minute mark of the first period. Marc-Olivier Vallerand fired a backhand shot at the crease and lifted the puck high past ‘Blades goaltender John Muse for the shorthanded goal, to give Greenville the 1-0 lead.
In the second period, the ‘Blades didn’t keep quiet for long. Leigh Salters redirected a David Rutherford shot from the blue line, and tipped it past Greenville netminder Nathan Lieuwen to tie the game at one on the power play.
TheWarriors fired right back, when Vallerand picked up a rebound from a Sebastian Piche shot from the blue line, and wristed the shot into the net. The power play marker gave the Road Warriors a 2-1 lead.
Florida went on the power play late in the second, and with 1:33 remaining in the period, Matt Beca picked up the rebound off of a Mathieu Roy shot, and flipped it backside behind Lieuwen for the tying goal to put the score at 2-2 after 40 minutes played.
The Blades came into the third period eager for more, taking the lead on the powerplay at 11:44 of the period. Rutherford grabbed the puck in front and lifted a backhanded shot over the glove of Lieuwen, guiding the puck in the top right corner for the go-ahead goal 3-2.
Nearly three minutes later, Florida continued their scoring streak, with a shot from the slot by Rutherford. Rutherford’s shot was tipped in front by Roy who directed it past Lieuwen to extend the lead to 4-2. with 4:25 remaining.
The Warriors regained their momentum 25 seconds later, and scored against the Blades with a quick wrist shot low into the net by Mike Marcou to pull Greenville within one.
Less than a minute later, Piche pitched a pass through the crease to Andrew Yogan who shoved the puck past Muse in front, to tie game four, and force overtime.
After a scoreless overtime period, the game would be decided in the shootout. The Warriors received goals from Brandon Wong and Francis Verreault, while the Everblades failed to score in their shots as Greenville pulled out the 5-4 victory. .
Warrior goaltemder Nathan Lieuwen earns the win stopping 30 of 34 shots faced while John Muse suffers the loss allowing four goals on 31 shots faced.
Game Notes: David Rutherford finished with a three-point night (1g, 2a). NHL defenseman Ryan O’Byrne, who signed with the ‘Blades, registered his first ECHL point with an assist in his ‘Blades debut.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday, which is the annual IBERIABANK Teddy Bear Toss game. Bring a stuffed animal to throw onto the ice after the Blades score their first goal. All of the stuffed animals will be rounded-up and distributed to local children’s charities.
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 at www.ticketmaster.com
Partial-season packages start as low as $150, and offer a flexible option for fans. The packages make 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.