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Blades Rip away 5-4 Shootout Win

Sunday, December 15th
Blades Rip away 5-4 Shootout Win

Wheeling, WV – Trailing 4-3 in the final minute, the Florida Everblades got a power play goal from Rocco Carzo to force overtime, eventually squeaking out a 5-4 shootout victory over the Wheeling Nailers Sunday at WesBanco Arena to go 4-0-0-0 on their four-game Atlantic Division road trip.

When Ben Duffy’s second goal of the night posted the Nailers to a 4-3 lead with 5:49 remaining in regulation, things looked bleak for the Blades, but on a power play with 24 seconds left in regulation Carzo deflected a shot by Braden Birch into the top left corner of the Wheeling net, knotting the game at four and forcing overtime for the second straight night.

As it went the night before, neither team was able to cash in during the extra frame—though each side was awarded a power play during bonus hockey—necessitating a shootout.

In the decisive five-round affair, the Blades got goals from Brandon MacLean—who also scored in Saturday’s shootout—Mathieu Roy and Kellan Tochkin while netminder Trevor Cann stopped three of five Wheeling shooters to preserve the 5-4 win.

Florida got the scoring started Sunday afternoon as a long Mike Merrifield rebound careened to the high slot to Trevor Bruess. Off-balance, Bruess wobbled a shot on net that confounded Wheeling goalie Mike Condon, who fell backward but could not stop the rolling misfire as it crossed to goal line to boost the Everblades to a 1-0 lead 90 seconds into the game.

Wheeling struck back late in the first as Carter Rowney and Duffy went runner-runner in a matter of 35 seconds to give the Nailers their first lead of the night at 2-1 with 4:38 remaining in the first.

Jordan Henry, playing in his second game back in the Blades’ lineup after three weeks away from the team, equalized for the Blades 1:21 after Duffy’s go-ahead strike: streaking through traffic on the power play and snapping a low shot inside the right post for a 2-2 tie heading into the first intermission.

Sahir Gill willed the Nailers back in front at 3-2 with 10:32 to go in the second, collecting his own face-off win and diving through traffic to chip the puck from his knees over Cann’s glove for his second goal in as many nights.

Once again the Blades tied the game up before intermission, as MacLean was denied on a short breakaway by Condon, but Merrifield followed the play and buried the rebound with 6:49 remaining in the middle frame, sending the game to intermission even at three and setting the stage for Sunday’s third-period drama.

Cann made 24 saves for his fifth straight win in net for the Blades; Condon’s 29 stops weren’t enough to avoid his fourth shootout loss of the year.

The Blades now return home to open a two-game holiday series against the Greenville Road Warriors at Germain Arena with a 7:30pm divisional showdown. It will be “Ugly Christmas Sweater Night” at Germain Arena Friday; all fans wearing an ugly Christmas sweater will get $5.00 off any Premium seat for the game.

Tickets are on sale now at the Capital Bank Box Office, open Monday-Friday, 10:00am-6:00pm.

Friday’s divisional contest 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 7:15pm.

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 Ugly Christmas Sweater Night on December 20.

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.

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