READING, PA – Jesse Deckert made 34 saves to help lead the Florida Everblades to a 4-3 victory over the Reading Royals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal at the Sovereign Center Friday night. Florida takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Florida got on the board first taking advantage of a turnover by the Royals in their own end. A Reading defender attempted to clear the puck of the zone, but A.J. Jenks batted down the puck and carried to the right side of the slot. Jenks fired a backhanded shot which beat goaltender Riley Gill for the goal to give the ‘Blades a 1-0 lead. The goal was fifth of postseason for Jenks.
The Everblades added to their lead with 12 seconds remaining in the opening period. Brayden Irwin skated to the left wing circle and delivered a pass across to the slot to a wide open Adam Brace. Brace instantly directed a shot which clipped of the pad of Gill and trickled across the goaline to give Florida a 2-0 lead after the first period of play.
Reading came out firing in the second, getting on the board just eight seconds into the period. Stanislav Galiev picked up a rebound in the slot and wristed the puck past Florida goaltender Jesse Deckert for the goal to put the scored at 2-1.
Four minutes later, former Everblade Yannick Tifu tied the game at two on the power play. From the corner Tifu steered a shot off the back of the leg of Deckert, banking the puck into the net to tie the game at 2-2.
Halfway through the middle frame, Mike Cornell flipped shot from the blue line which was tipped in front by Mathieu Roy. Roy’s redirected the puck past Gill to give his team the lead back 3-2 after 40 minutes played.
Early in the third period, Florida was given a 5-on-3 power play opportunity and converted. A shot from Trivino on the left wing deflected in front and skipped to the stick of Matthew Pistilli on the left side of the crease. Pistilli lifted the puck into the open net behind Gill to extend the Florida lead 4-2.
The Royals refused to go away, and pulled within one at 13:34 remaining in regulation. Galiev led a 2-on-1 rush into the zone and slipped a pass across the slot to Tifu who buried a shot past Deckert for the goal to pull Reading within one.
The Everblades and Deckert were able to hold off the Royals in the game’s final six minutes, to preserve the 4-3 victory. Reading outshot the Everblades 37-18 in the contest.
Deckert earns the win stopping 34 of 37 shots faced, while Gill takes the loss allowing four goals on 18 shots.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday for Game 2 to be played at the Sovereign Center at 7:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 96 K-Rock (96.1 FM), or online at www.floridaeverblades.com
Game Watching Party: Saturday’s Game 2 will be shown in the Breakaway’s Sports Pub at Germain Arena. Breakaways will open at 6:00 p.m. There will be Happy Hour drink pricing and pizza and sandwich menu will be available. Game time starts at 7:05 p.m.
The following is a complete schedule of the best-of-seven series:
(1) Reading Royals v (4) Florida Everblades (Florida leads 1-0)Game 1: Friday, April 19: Florida - 4 at Reading – 3Game 2: Saturday, April 20 (7:05 pm) at ReadingGame 3: Wednesday, April 24 (7:30 pm) at Florida (Playoff Game D)Game 4: Friday, April 26 (7:30 pm) at Florida (Playoff Game E)Game 5 Saturday, April 27 (7:00 pm) at Florida (If Necessary)Game 6: Tuesday, April 30 (7:05 pm) at Reading (If Necessary)Game 7: Wednesday, May 1 (7:05 pm) at Reading (If Necessary)
Tickets are now on sale for the second round of the playoffs. .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
Season ticket packages for the 2013-14 season are currently on sale. Call 239-948-7825 to speak to a sales representative about package options