ESTERO, FL – Evansville’s Andre Bouvet-Morissettee scored in the 21st round of the overtime shootout to seal a 5-4 IceMen victory over the Florida Everblades Friday night at Germain Arena. The 21-round shootout, featured 42 shooters which ties an ECHL record.
Evansville registered the game’s first goal at 7:59 of the first period. Everblades defenseman Olivier Dame-Malka lost an edge and slipped in front of the penalty box, which allowed Stefan Della Rovere to steal the puck away. Della Rovere carried the puck into the zone on a breakaway and wristed a shot underneath the leg pad of Everblades goaltender Pat Nagle to give the IceMen a 1-0 lead.
Florida countered with a short handed goal by Aaron Bogosian at 9:24 of the first period. Mike Merrifield led a 2-on-1 rush into the zone and slid a pass to Bogosian on the right wing. Bogosian wristed the puck past Evansville goaltender Paul Dainton to tie the game at 1-1.
Moments later, Merrifield scored a goal of his own, as he carried the puck quickly into the zone n the right wing side and angled his way toward the net. Merrifield lifted a backhand shot past Dainton to give Florida the 2-1 edge
Twenty-two second later, defenseman Dan Milan hurled a shot from the point which was tipped in front by Mathieu Roy and redirected into the net to extend the ‘Blades lead to 3-1. Roy’s goal capped off a three-goal outburst by Florida in just a 1:59 span. The Everblades took the 3-1 edge into the first intermission.
The second period belonged to the IceMen, as they scored three unanswered goals in the middle frame. The first of those goals came on the power play, as Daniel Tetrault’s slapshot from the point beat Nagle high on the glove side for the second Evansville tally.
Nearly four minutes later, a similar shot at the point by Matt Krug also beat Nagle, which tied the game at three.
The IceMen snuck in one more goal before the end of the second period. From the top of the crease, Josh Beaulieu attempted to direct the puck into the net, but the puck eluded his stick. However, an unguarded Jason Dale grabbed the loose puck and shoved it into the net on the left side to give his team the 4-3 lead over Florida after two periods.
The Everblades netted the equalizer at 2:24 of the third period. Leigh Salters dropped pass across the low slot to Merrifield who squeezed a shot between the shortside post and the leg pad of Dainton to tie the game at four.
Both teams held each other in check for the remainder of regulation and overtime, sending the game to the shootout.
In the shootout both teams struggled to score, combining for only five total goals during a lengthy 21-round shootout. In the 21st round, Andre Bouvet-Morissettee beat Nagle on a shot low which sealed the 5-4 victory for Evansville.
The marathon shootout ties an ECHL record with 42 total shooters. The previous record was set back on October 16, 1992 in a game between the Hampton Roads Admirals and the Birmingham Bulls. The Birmingham’s Brett Barnett scored for a 7-6 win in the 21st round of the shootout in that game to earn the win for his team.
Dainton earns the win stopping 28 of 32 shots faced, while Nagle takes the loss allowing four goals on 36 shots faced.
GAME NOTES: With a goal in the game, Mathieu Roy extends his point scoring streak to 13 games. Roy has posted 22 points during this stretch which began back on Jan. 27. The league high this season is 14 games set by Chad Costello of the Colorado Eagles….Matthew Pistilli extended his point streak to ten games with an assist in the game.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday at Germain Arena at 7:00 p.m. Also on Saturday, the Everblades Alumni game against FGCU takes place at 4:30 p.m. The McDonald’s tailgate party kicks off at 5:00 p.m. with live music and bounce houses for the kids.
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
Group discounts are also available, and can save fans up $8 off per ticket from the normal box office price. For more information on all available packages, call the Everblades office at 239-948-7825