ESTERO, FL – Mathieu Roy and Will MacDonald each scored twice to lead the Everblades to a 6-3 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears at Germain Arena Saturday night. The win secures the Everblades home ice advantage in the round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
It the Everblades less than three minutes to score the game’s first goal. Daniel Koger led a 2-on-1 rush into the zone. Koger called his own number firing a wrist shot past Orlando goaltender Bryce Merriam to give Florida the early 1-0 lead.
Late in the period, Orlando netted the equalizer on the power play. A shot from the left wing circle was stopped by Everblades netminder Jesse Deckert. However, the rebound bounced back in front to C.J. Severyn who backhanded the puck through the five-hole of Deckert for the tying goal.
Just 14 seconds later, the Everblades grabbed the lead right back. Off of an offensive zone faceoff win, Brandon MacLean threw the puck from the corner, which deflected off the pad of Merriam and to the slot. Will MacDonald grabbed the puck and wristed the rebound into the net for the go-ahead goal to give Florida the 2-1 lead after the first period.
The Everblades kept their momentum going the second, as five minutes in, Mathieu Roy redirected an Adam Brace shot from the point past Merriam to put the game at 3-1.
Corey Trivino made it 4-1 on his 18th goal of the season at 13:57 of the second period, to give the ‘Blades the three-goal advantage after 40 minutes played.
Five minutes into the third, MacDonald scored for the second time in the game. A rebound off of a David Rutherford shot bounced to the slot, and once again MacDonald buried the rebound on a wrist shot to put the score at 5-1.
Less than a minute later, Rutherford set up the sixth Everblades goal. Rutherford skated the puck to the left side of the crease, and placed a perfect backhanded pass to Roy on the backside. Roy shoved the puck into the net for his league leading 37th goal of the season
Late in the third, Orlando received back-to-back goals from Kyle Beattie who pulled his team within three, but time ran out on the Solar Bears as the Everblades pick up the 6-3 win.
Deckert earned his ninth win of the season, turning aside 25 of 28 shots faced, while Merriam takes the loss allowing six goals on 29 shots.
With three points on the night, Mathieu Roy finishes the regular season with 89 points (38g, 51a).
Florida finishes as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, and will have home ice advantage in its first round series with the Elmira Jackals. The following is the schedule for the first round best-of-seven series:
Game 1: Friday, April 5, Elmira at Florida, 7:30 p.m.Game 2: Saturday, April 6, Elmira at Florida, 7:00 p.m.Game 3: Wednesday, April 10, Florida at ElmiraGame 4: Friday, April 12, Florida at ElmiraGame 5: Saturday, April 13, Florida at Elmira**Game 6: Monday, April 15, Elmira at Florida**Game 7: Wednesday, April 17, Elmira at Florida**** If necessary
Playoff ticket packages are currently on sale. Individual game tickets for the first two games of the first round will go on sale on Monday.
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###