ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Toledo Walleye 3-2 at Germain Arena on Friday night.
The Walleye came out aggressive, and scored the first goal just 23 seconds into the game. Doug Clarkson broke in on the wing, and slipped the puck past the glove of Florida goaltender Pat Nagle on the left side of the crease.
Moments later, the Walleye continued their scoring streak, when Olivier Dame-Malka fired a slap shot from the top of the left circle which ripped into the net for the goal to extend the Toledo lead. The Walleye outshot the ‘Blades 19-4 in the opening period, and took a 2-0 lead into the first break.
The ‘Blades responded on their end in the second, scoring on the power play with 3:28 remaining in the period. Leigh Salters accepted a pass from Brayden Irwin at the right corner of the crease, and snuck the puck behind the back of Toledo goaltender Kent Simpson for the goal to pull the ‘Blades within one after 40 minutes played.
The ‘Blades scored another goal at 7:27 in the third period, as Irwin’s wrist shot from the right circle clipped past Simpson into the top left corner of the net tying the game at two.
Halfway through the third Charles Landry’s shot was stopped off the pad of Simpson. The rebound bounced to Matthew Pistilli on the left side of the crease. Pistilli flipped a backhand shot into the net behind Simpson to give Florida its first lead of the game 3-2.
From there Nagle turned aside the remaining shots Toledo threw his way to preserve the 3-2 come-from-behind victory. Nagle did not allow a goal against for the final 55:36 of the contest, to earn the win stopping 38 of 40 shots faced. Simpson suffers the loss allowing three goals on 27 shots faced.
GAME NOTES: Leigh Salters finished the game with the “Gordie Howe” hat trick, posting a goal, an assist, and a fighting major. Salters has now totaled 10 points (4g, 6a) in the last five games. Brayden Irwin’s third period goal extends his goal scoring streak to four games.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow night at Germain Arena beginning at 7:00 p.m. The McDonald’s Tailgate Party begins at 5:00 p.m. which features live music from Blue Mason Barter Co., along with face painting and bounce houses for the kids! Fans can register to win a diamond pendant in the Diamond Dash presented by Bailey, Banks, & Biddle. Fans can also take advantage of the Family Night special which features 4-game tickets, 4-hot dogs, and 4-sodas for $56.
Ticket Information: 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 are still available, and 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.