Estero, FL – The Florida Everblades’ five-game winning streak came to a halt Friday as the Greenville Road Warriors scored four consecutive goals to cool off the Blades 4-1 at Germain Arena.
Friday’s contest started out as a defensive struggle, as Florida netminder Trevor Cann and his Greenville counterpart, Connor Knapp, combined for 24 saves in the opening frame to keep the game scoreless heading into the first intermission.
It remained a scoreless tie through over half the second period before Road Warriors forward Justin Vaive was able to deflect a low shot from Andrew Rowe through Cann’s pads, lifting the visitors to a 1-0 lead with 9:31 left in the middle stanza.
Bad luck doubled Florida’s deficit to 2-0 at the 2:29 mark of the second as a bad-angle attempt by Greenville’s Jordie Johnston pinballed around Cann’s crease before creeping over the goal line, never stopping long enough to be blown dead by the referee.
Johnston extended the Warriors’ edge to 3-0 in the third, sneaking behind the Blades’ defense for a 60-foot breakaway that the center cashed in over Cann’s glove for his second of the night just 1:19 into the final frame.
Former Everblade Brayden Irwin put a cap on Greenville’s four-goal outburst, sending a low liner through traffic and in with 16:02 left in the game.
Matthew Pistilli finally broke Knapp’s spell with 7:59 remaining in the third, tallying the Blades’ league-best eighth short-handed goal in transition with a low slap shot that beat the former Miami University keeper to chop the lead to 4-1.
Cann came up with more big saves down the stretch, but his offense could not come up with the miracle comeback as the veteran netminder suffered his first loss in the last six games despite 31 stops.
Knapp secured the win for Greenville, turning aside 28 of 29 Florida attempts for his fourth victory of the season.
The two sides will reconvene Saturday for a 7:00pm rematch at Germain Arena. It will be Sing For Santa Night, with caroling groups singing throughout the night with a skate with Santa and Everblades players to follow the game.
Tickets are on sale now at the Capital Bank Box Office.
Saturday’s grudge match will be broadcast live online at FloridaEverblades.com and on the Everblades’ app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, with a video webcast available through 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 Sing For Santa Night on December 21.
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.