Estero, FL – The Florida Everblades overcame one two-goal deficit Saturday against the Orlando Solar Bears, but could not battle through a second, falling 4-3 in their final game of the 2013 preseason at Germain Arena.
Behind 2-0 after one on Orlando goals from Nick McParland and Michael Neal, the Blades mounted a comeback in the second, sparked by a John Henrion power play strike with 13:54 to go in the middle frame.
Blueliner Dan Milan pulled the home side even just under six minutes later, zipping a low shot through a screen set by Matthew Pistilli and in past Orlando netminder Christopher Gibson, tying the game at two with 7:56 remaining in the stanza.
That deadlock would only last 20 seconds, however, as McParland hit Kyle Beattie behind the Florida defense for a short breakaway that Beattie would cash in with a rising backhander that beat Everblades goalie Jesse Deckert to push the Solar Bears back ahead at 3-2.
Orlando would get the lead back to two at 4-2 3:24 into the third as a Blades defender was taken down on a long clear into the Florida zone, freeing Beattie to hit Neal at the front of the net for a quick redirect past Deckert.
Kyle Bonis pulled the Blades back within one 1:10 later, taking an entry feed from Austin Levi that deflected off an Orlando forward and blazing his first preseason tally over the blocker of Gibson.
Tempers flared in the back half of the third after Blades assistant captain Trevor Bruess was lost for the game after sustaining a high check from Solar Bears defenseman Myles Harvey, as the teams combined for 36 penalty minutes in the final 9:56 of the game.
With emotions running high, the Blades outshot the Solar Bears 18-5 in the third, but could not solve Gibson after Bonis’ strike, falling 4-3—their second one-goal loss in as many nights to their intrastate rivals.
Deckert made 18 saves but suffered the loss for the Everblades; Gibson piled up 40 saves—33 in the second and third periods—to secure the win for Orlando.
The Everblades open the 2013-14 campaign at Germain Arena on Friday, October 18, with Black Out Night against the Orlando Solar Bears. Individual game tickets are now on sale at the Capital Bank Box Office at Germain Arena, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturdays 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
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 Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes