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Blades Rally Not Enough as Rays Pull Away

Friday, January 24th
Blades Rally Not Enough as Rays Pull Away

North Charleston, SC – Though the Florida Everblades went punch-for-punch with the South Carolina Stingrays at even strength Friday at North Charleston Coliseum, two Stingray power play goals proved the difference as the Blades fell 4-2.

South Carolina’s power play got the scoring started with 9:40 to go in the first as Wayne Simpson rifled a low shot past recently acquired goalie Connor Knapp to push the home side ahead 1-0.

Jack Downing tallied the Rays’ second straight power play marker 8:34 into the second to double South Carolina’s advantage to 2-0, blasting home a cross-ice one-timer from Peter Boyd.

League-leading rookie goal-scorer Kyle Bonis got the Blades on the board at 2-1 with 2:55 remaining in the middle frame, snapping a nine-game goalless skid by banging a Mike Merrifield feed past Rays netminder Jeff Jakaitis.

Stingray forward Paul Rodrigues put a serious dent in Florida’s comeback hopes, driving in a shot from the left circle to boost the home side to a 3-1 edge with 13:32 left in the third.

Blades assistant captain Trevor Bruess pulled Florida back within one at 3-2, cashing in a loose rebound at the 2:55 mark to set up a dramatic finish.

Though Everblades head coach Greg Poss pulled Knapp for an extra attacker, Florida had trouble getting shots though to the net and Boyd ended the Blades’ hopes for a rally, sending a length-of-the-ice shot into the empty net to close the game with a 4-2 score.

Knapp compiled 20 saves in his Everblades debut but couldn’t avoid his eighth loss of the season. Jakaitis stopped 24 of 26 Florida attempts to pick up the win in his return to the Stingrays’ lineup.

The two sides will reconvene for a 7:05pm rematch Saturday at North Charleston Coliseum.

Saturday’s pivotal 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 6:50pm.

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 29.

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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