Kalamazoo, MI – The Florida Everblades opened their Thanksgiving week in style, using a balanced attack to cruise to a 5-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings at Wings Stadium Wednesday.
A.J. Jenks got the scoring started 6:06 into the game, intercepting a Sam Ftorek outlet pass and firing a low shot in past Wings goalie Jordan Binnington for a quick 1-0 lead.
Kalamazoo answered with 2:22 to go in the opening frame, getting a goal off of a turnover of their own as an Eric Kattelus forecheck led to a top-shelf bomb by defenseman Ben Wilson to knot the game at one heading into the first intermission.
In the second, it would take Blades veteran Trevor Bruess just 1:53 to break that tie as Brandon MacLean sprung Bruess for a breakaway that the center converted over Binnington’s glove for a 2-1 advantage.
Florida netminder Kristers Gudlevskis came up big after Bruess’ tally, stopping consecutive breakaways on Wings forwards Yanni Gourde and Aaron Clarke to hold the lead at one.
Moments after Gudlevskis’ denial of Clarke, rookie John Henrion extended the advantage to 3-1, threading a rising shot through traffic and in around Binnington.
Blueliner Olivier Dame-Malka kept the offensive parade rolling for the Blades, tallying his first of the year to make it a 4-1 score on a slapshot through a MacLean screen with 11:26 left in regulation.
Everblades captain Mathieu Roy put a cap on the visitors’ four-goal outburst, tucking home a Bruess rebound for his eighth goal of the year, stretching it to a 5-1 game with 6:59 to go.
Another turnover cost the Blades a goal with 5:42 remaining in the game as Matt Caria stole the puck off the half-wall in the Florida zone and fed Ludwig Blomstrand for a one-timer that the winger converted into his fifth strike of the season and the game’s final margin of 5-2.
Gudlevskis turned in 23 saves for his sixth win of the year; Bennington made 25 stops but slipped to 4-4-0-0 on the 2013-14 campaign.
The Blades now continue their holiday roadie with a 7:35 PM contest on Thanksgiving Day against the Fort Wayne Komets at Memorial Coliseum.
Thursday’s holiday tilt will be broadcast locally on 98.1 FM The Island and worldwide online on America ONE, the official broadband and mobile broadcaster of the ECHL, at www.americaonesports.com. Pregame coverage will get under way at 6:45pm.
Beat the Box Office!
Don’t want to pay the box office rate for Everblades tickets? You don’t have to! Save up to $7.00 per ticket with great 10 and 20-game flex plans and group rates for the remainder of the 2013-14 campaign. Lock in your flex plan or group seats now for the IBERIABANK Teddy Bear Toss on December 7.
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.###