GREENVILLE, SC – Mathieu Roy netted a hat-trick to lead the Florida Everblades to a 5-2 victory over Greenville Road Warriors at the Bi-Lo Center Friday night.
Florida got on the board first as Brody Sutter scored for the third consecutive game. Leigh Salters fielded the puck behind the Greenville net, and fed a pass to the right side of the slot to Sutter. The rookie forward wristed the puck past Road Warriors goaltender Connor Knapp for the game’s first goal.
Florida added to its lead at 16:30 of the opening period, as Corey Trivino feathered a pass from the back wall to Mathieu Roy to the right of the net. Roy tapped a backhanded shot which squeezed past the shortside post, and the led pad of Knapp for the goal to extend the ‘Blades lead to 2-0 after the first period.
Florida goaltender Rob Madore made same outstanding saves early in the game. However, in the second he fell victim to a defensive mishap in front of his net. Jonathan Higgins cruised in on goal and fired a off a shot which was stopped on a brilliant save by Madore. The rebound bounced to a wide open Chad Ziegler who hurled the puck into the back of the net past Madore who was down on the ice.
Nearly two minutes later, Roy led a 2-on-1 rush on the left wing side into the Greenville end. Roy eyed the trailer Matthew Pistilli on the far wing, but called his own number ripping a hard wrist shot which cleanly beat Knapp for the goal to put Florida back on top by two.
Halfway through the period, the ‘Blades Matthew Pistilli won the face off from the left wing circle, and directed the puck to Roy. Roy immediately flipped a shot toward the net which beat an unsuspecting Knapp to complete the hat-trick bid. Florida assumed a 4-1 lead at that point.
Moments later, Greenville’s Jordie Johnston broke back on a shorthanded breakaway chance and was hauled down by Pisitlli which resulted in a penalty shot. On his chance, Johnston deked and slipped the puck on the backhand past Madore to pull the Road Warriors within two after the second period.
Florida controlled play in third, and outshot Greenville 15-7 in the final stanza. Newcomer Matt Auffrey, who was signed prior to the game, secured the 5-2 win with an empty net goal with three seconds remaining.
Madore was sharp stopping 32 of 34 shots faced in the game, while Knapp takes the loss allowing four goals on 36 shots faced in the contest.
The Everblades will now travel to Gwinnett to open up a two-game weekend set beginning on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 96 K-Rock (96.1 FM), or online at www.floridaeverblades.com
The ‘Blades next home game is Tuesday, February 19 against Gwinnett. Fans can receive two club level tickets for the price of one simply by mentioning “Two for Tuesday” at the Capital Bank Box Office prior to the game.
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 atwww.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.