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Blades Can’t Stop Greenville’s Rally, Fall at Home

Wednesday, January 29th
Blades Can’t Stop Greenville’s Rally, Fall at Home

Estero, FL – The Florida Everblades’ losing streak hit a season high as the Greenville Road Warriors erupted for three straight goals to storm past the Blades 5-4 Wednesday at Germain Arena.

Leading 3-2 after the first, Florida saw their advantage evaporate with 7:02 to go in the second as Andrew Himelson lined a low slap shot through traffic and between relief goalie Connor Knapp’s legs, tying the game at three.

Marc-Olivier Vallerand gave Greenville their first lead of the night at 4-3 just 45 seconds into the third, grabbing a loose puck at the side of Knapp’s cage and firing it home before his former teammate could recover.

Greenville’s power play struck again less than five minutes later when blueliner Ryan Hegerty fired a low slap shot that beat Knapp in traffic, boosting Greenville’s edge to 5-3 with 14:19 to go in the final frame.

Though Mike Merrifield pulled Florida within one with 48 seconds to go off a Trevor Bruess rebound, missed opportunities earlier in the period proved costly as the Blades fell 5-4.

Florida took the first lead of the game at 1-0 just 2:54 into the contest as Austin Levi rifled home a one-timer from Beau Schmitz for his first ECHL goal.

A mere 24 seconds later, however, the Road Warriors equalized when Scott Arnold looped a 40-foot shot off the left-wing boards that snuck through starting goalie Riku Helenius’ five-hole to tie the game at one.

Mid-season acquisition Philip-Michael Devos pushed the Blades back ahead with 11:20 to go in the first, batting a Tyson Gimblett rebound out of mid-air over the glove of Greenville netminder Jason Missaen to make it 2-1 for the home side.

Yet another tie ensued at 2-2 with 2:36 to go in the first when Helenius mis-handled the puck at the side of his net, leading to a turnover that Jordie Johnston hammered home for Greenville.

Rookie sniper Kyle Bonis dialed up another one-goal lead for the Blades with 58 seconds left in the first, collecting a cross-ice pass from Schmitz and beating Missaen glove-side to lift Florida to a 3-2 edge after one.

Following the first intermission Helenius (no decision, 7 saves) was replaced by Knapp (loss, 15 saves).

Despite a shaky start, Missaen finished with 32 stops and the win in net for the Road Warriors.

The Blades will face the Warriors at Germain Arena once again Friday in hopes of halting their season-high skid at 7:30pm.

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

Wednesday’s home tilt 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 the Blades’ next home game on January 31.

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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