Estero, FL – The Florida Everblades picked up four goals from four different scorers and 20 saves from Kristers Gudlevskis en route to a 4-1 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears on opening night of the 2013-14 ECHL season Friday at Germain Arena.
Wearing black jerseys for the first time in franchise history, it didn’t take the Blades long to get the announced crowd of 6,418 rocking as rookie blueliner Mike Cornell rolled a low shot through traffic that pinballed off a Solar Bears defender and in for a 1-0 lead 8:47 into the game.
Maxime Langelier-Parent, recently assigned to the Everblades by the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, doubled the lead to 2-0 with 7:54 to go in the opening frame, stuffing a centering feed from Carl Nielsen through the legs of Orlando goalie Christopher Gibson for his first of the year.
A back-door strike from Danick Gauthier extended the Blades’ advantage to 3-0 a mere 2:23 into the second.
Orlando spoiled Gudlevskis’ shutout bid with 3:28 remaining in the middle frame as defender Corey Fienhage scorched a low shot through traffic and under the Latvian netminder’s glove to pull the Solar Bears back into the game at 3-1.
Everblades forward Kyle Bonis extinguished the visitors’ hopes for a comeback 3:25 into the third, beaming a shot in transition over Gibson’s glove and under the crossbar for a 4-1 lead and some breathing room for the Blades.
Gudlevskis took it from there, stopping all nine shots he saw in the third en route to his first professional win Friday. Gibson was saddled with the loss despite 23 saves.
The Everblades and Solar Bears will wrap up their season-opening home-and-home series Saturday with a 7:00pm rematch at the Amway Center in Orlando. The contest will mark the start of a five-game road swing for the Blades.
Saturday’s intrastate grudge match will be broadcast locally on FOX Sports Radio 1350 AM and worldwide online on America ONE, the internet television provider for the ECHL, at www.americaonesports.com. Pregame coverage will get under way at 6:45pm.
2013-14 Season Ticket Package Information
Ticket packages for the 2013-14 season are currently on sale—and going fast! Full season packages begin at $380, while 10 and 20 game packages start as low as $160. Sign-up for a new season ticket package today, and receive a $20 gift card per seat to Outback Steakhouse!
For more information call 239-948-7825, or stop by the Everblades main office located at Germain Arena.
Office hours are Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning.