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Shugg's Nets Hat Trick as 'Blades Rally to Defeat Wheeling

Sunday, December 9th
Shugg's Nets Hat Trick as 'Blades Rally to Defeat Wheeling

WHEELING, WV – Justin Shugg netted a hat-trick to lift the Everblades to a 5-4 shootout victory over the Wheeling Nailers in the overtime shootout Saturday night at Wesbanco Arena. Florida rallied from a three goal deficit in the final nine minutes of regulation to earn the win.

Wheeling struck first at 3:02 as Peter Lenes put in a rebound past Everblades goaltender John Muse to give the Nailers a 1-0 lead.

Florida tied its six minutes later as Justin Shugg finished off a nice move around the defenseman and ripped a shot past Wheeling netminder Patrick Killeen.

Wheeling took a two goal lead into the second intermission on goals by Chris Higgins and Andrew Hotham. Peter Lenes registered his second goal of the game on the power play at 6:09 of the third period to extend the Nailers lead to 4-1.

Wheeling was able to kill off extended 5-on-3 power play by Florida to preserve the three goal advantage. The ‘Blades began their rally with nearly nine minutes remaining. Bobby Raymond fired a wrist shot from the slot that ripped past Killeen top shelf to the put the score at 4-2.

Twenty-five seconds later, Justin Shugg received the puck in at the circle and wristed a shot high past Killeen’s glove to pull Florida within one 4-3.

Shugg struck again for a third time, when Mathieu Roy shuffled a pass over the stick of a Wheeling defender to Shugg. Shugg curled the puck on his backhand and lifted a shot high into the net to complete the rally, and tie the game at 4-4 with 28 seconds remaining.

Neither team could seal the game in overtime, sending the game to the overtime shootout for the second consecutive night. Shugg, David Rutherford, and Matt Marquardt all scored in the shootout for Florida to seal the 5-4 victory. Muse earns the win stopping 28 of 32 shots faced, while Killeen takes the loss allowing four goals on 25 shots seen in the game.

Shugg records his first career hat trick, and scored five goals in the two games played in Wheeling. Florida will have a few days off before facing Cincinnati at U.S. Bank Arena Wednesday night. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 96 K-Rock (96.1 FM), and online by at www.floridaeverblades.com

Florida’s next home game is Wednesday, December 19 against the Orlando Solar Bear. Game time is 7:30 p.m. 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. For more information on all available packages, call the Everblades office at 239-948-7825, or purchase tickets online. ###

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