ESTERO, Fla. – Evan Bloodoff scored a goal and an assist, while Jody O’Neil made 41 saves help the Gwinnett Gladiators defeat the Florida Everblades 5-2 on Friday night at Germain Arena.
The Gladiators got off to a quick start, striking first within the first two minutes of the game on an impressive goal by Cody Brookwell. Brookwell fired a slapshot from the circle which clipped off the shoulder of ‘Blades goaltender Rob Madore and into the net. The goal stood as the only goal in the period as the Gladiators took the lead into the first intermission.
Gladiators were on fire throughout the second period. Just minutes into the second period, forward Scott Arnold drove down the left wing, and wristed a shot Madore to put the score at 2-0.
The Gladiators managed to add another goal on the board when Ryan Donald fired a shot from the blue line, which hit off the leg pad of Madore and trickled into the net to extend the lead to 3-0. Following the goal, Madore was pulled allowing three goals on 11 shots faced.
Nearly 20 seconds later, Evan Bloodoff launched a shot at the bottom right circle which beat goaltender Pat Nagle who came in relief of Madore. Bloodoff’s 18th goal of the closing out the scoring in the second period, as Gwinnett led 4-0.
The ‘Blades battled back in the third period at 6:12, when Corey Trivino picked up a rebound from a Mathieu Roy shot, and wristed the puck past Gladiators netminder Jody O’Neil to put the ‘Blades on the board 4-1. .
With nearly five minutes remaining, and Florida net empty, Aaron Bogosian flipped the puck from a tough angle. The puck slipped behind the skate of O’Neil, and Bogosian tapped the puck from the side of the net and slid it in for the goal to pull the ‘Blades within two.
However, the Gladiators quickly answered on their end when forward Joey Haddad shot the puck from center ice into the Everblades empty net to put the score at 5-2.
Moments later, things got physical as players mixed it up in a heated scrum in front of the Gwinnett net with a 1:52 remaining. The heated exchange erupted into several misconducts on both sides, including both goaltenders being tossed from the game. The chippy game ended with both teams combining for 126 penalty minutes.
Following the altercation, Gwinnett skated out the remaining time to close out the 5-2 victory.
O’Neill was impressive stopping 41 of 43 shots, while Madore takes the loss allowing three goals on 12 shots face. Nagle stopped 11 of 10 shots faced in a relief effort.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow night at Germain Arena beginning at 7:00. Don’t forget to wear pink for our Pink in the Rink event in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. A jersey auction will also be held following after the game with all net proceeds going toward cancer charities. The fun begins at 5 p.m. with McDonald’s Tailgate Party out in the parking lot.
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