Estero, FL – In an epic defensive battle between the South Division’s top squads, the Florida Everblades suffered a 2-1 loss Friday to the South Carolina Stingrays at Germain Arena.
The division-leading Stingrays took the first advantage in Friday’s nip-and-tuck affair: getting a power play goal from Igor Gongalsky, who redirected a centering feed from Lindsay Sparks with 5:52 remaining in the opening frame to boost the visitors to a 1-0 advantage.
It took the Blades just 49 seconds into the second to dial up a response as Trevor Bruess broke into the South Carolina zone up the left wing before cutting to the net and ripping a rising shot over the glove of netminder Jeff Jakaitis to tie the contest at one.
Former NHL defender Brian Rafalski earned a plus-one rating on the night thanks to the goal.
The defenses stayed stingy, allowing just 17 total shots in the second following Bruess’ equalizer.
A critical error cost the Blades in the third, as a turnover at the Florida blueline allowed Wayne Simpson to zip a low shot off Everblades goalie Trevor Cann that Luke Greiner collected and popped home to lift the Stingrays to a 2-1 edge with 13:09 left in regulation.
Florida fired 15 shots on Jakaitis in the third but couldn’t break the spell of the league’s top goaltender, falling 2-1.
Cann piled up 21 saves but could not avoid his sixth loss of the season. Jakaitis turned in 29 stops to secure his 19th win of 2013-14.
The two sides will reconvene Saturday for a 7:00pm rematch at Germain Arena.
Tickets are on sale right now at the Capital Bank Box Office, open Monday-Friday, 10:00am until 6:00pm.
Saturday’s rivalry 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 the Blades’ next home game on January 11.
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.