EVERBLADES TAKE BOTH GAMES IN ORLANDO WITH 3-1 WIN
ORLANDO, FL – Will MacDonald’s shorthanded goal in the second period helped lead the Florida Everblades to a 3-1 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears at the Amway Center Wednesday evening.
The Everblades received an early power play after a five minute major boarding penalty to defenseman Colton Jobke. Mike Ratchuk fired a shot from the point which was tipped in front by Matthew Pisitlli who steered the puck low on the ice behind Orlando goaltender Bryce Merriam for the goal.
Pistilli’s 24th goal of the season was the only goal the ‘Blades scored on the lengthy power play, and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Florida outshot the Solar Bears 15-4 in the opening frame.
In the second, Orlando was hoping to tie the game on a power play opportunity, but the Everblades turned the tables on the Solar Bears. Will MacDonald fore checked behind the net and picked the pocket of the Orlando defenseman. MacDonald skated the puck to the front of the net and hurled a wrist shot past the blocker of an unsuspecting Merriam for the shorthanded goal to extend the ‘Blades lead to 2-0 after 40 minutes played. The goal was the first of the career for MacDonald.
Florida extended its lead at 5:11 of the third period. David Rutherford carried the puck to the top of the crease and flipped a shot which was stopped by Merriam. The rebound bounced back out in front, and was tapped into the net by Mathieu Roy for the goal to extend the lead to 3-0. The goal was Roy’s 36th of the season which ties him for the league lead.
Orlando got on the board at 8:49 of the third. Captain Ryan Cruthers grabbed the puck at the right wing circle and wristed a shot past Everblades netminder Jesse Deckert to pull the Solar Bears back within two.
The goal would not be enough, as the ‘Blades shut down the Solar Bears for the remainder of regulation to secure the 3-1 victory.
Deckert earns seventh win of the season, stopping 27 of 28 shots. Merriam was sharp in his pro debut, but takes the loss allowing three goals on 36 shots faced in the game.
The Everblades will now return home for Fan Appreciation Weekend thisFriday & Saturday, against Orlando! For both nights, the first 2,500 fans will receive an Everblades Team Photo courtesy of FGCU. Fans will also have an opportunity to win some great prizes throughout both games. Friday’s game is Team Awards Night; the awardsceremony will take place prior to the game. There will be a Player’s jersey auction following Saturday’s game.
FGCU GAME WATCHING PARTY FRIDAY! Will take place following Friday's game with Orlando. The game will be shown on the video boards in the main rink, and up in the Breakaway's Sports Pub at Germain Arena. Breakaway's will offer 1/2 priced appetizers and happy hour drink specials for the game! FGCU students who wish to attend the Everblades game prior to the FGCU game may purchase $5 tickets at the Capital Bank Box Office by presenting their college I.D.
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. Playoff ticket packages, as well as 2003-14 Season Ticket packages are currently on sale! For more information on all available packages, call the Everblades office at 239-948-7825.