Estero, FL – Though they were on the other side of losing a late lead from the previous night, the Florida Everblades managed to squeeze out a 5-4 shootout win over the Greenville Road Warriors Saturday at Germain Arena, replicating their Friday night result and taking victories in the three-game series with Greenville.
Behind 2-0 after one, Sean Dolan sparked a second period rally by winning an offensive zone faceoff to Carl Nielsen, who snapped a low shot past the blocker of Warriors netminder Jeff Malcolm to get Florida on the board at 2-1 with 11:18 to go in the middle frame.
Dolan continued the Blades’ push with 2:31 remaining in the second when the recently assigned center caught Malcolm leaning to the left and tucked a low shot inside the right post, evening the score at one.
Following a successful penalty kill, Trevor Bruess kept the offense flowing with five seconds left in the stanza, flinging a bad angle shot from the right wing corner that pinballed off Malcolm and in, lifting Florida to their first lead at 3-2.
On the other side of the second intermission, Dolan netted his second of the night, collecting a loose puck in the high slot and zipping home a low shot through a screen set by Rocco Carzo to double the Blades’ advantage to 4-2 just 84 seconds into the third.
Things looked good for the Everblades until the final six minutes of regulation, when the Warriors got running goals from Bretton Cameron with 5:09 left and Jordie Johnston at the 1:37 mark to tie the game at four and force overtime.
Malcolm and his Florida counterpart, Connor Knapp, stymied the offenses in overtime, sending the Blades and Warriors to their second straight shootout.
As Trevor Cann did the night before, Knapp denied every Greenville shooter he saw as Johnston, Cameron, Michael St. Croix and Andrew Rowe all came up empty while Danick Gauthier and Brandon MacLean struck for the Blades to deliver the 5-4 home victory.
It was Greenville who got the scoring started Saturday, as Marc-Olivier Vallerand and Scott Arnold packed back-to-back goals into an eight-minute window to give the visitors a 2-0 edge after one.
Knapp secured his first win as an Everblade, turning aside 26 shots plus all four shootout attempts. Malcolm made 19 saves but suffered his second shootout loss of the season.
Saturday’s victory gives Florida consecutive home wins for the first time all season and pushes their record at Germain Arena back over .500 (8-7-3) for the first time since early December.
The Blades continue their six-game home stand at Germain Arena Tuesday when they host the rival Orlando Solar Bears for a one-off contest at 7:30pm.
Tickets are now on sale at the Capital Bank Box Office, open Monday through Friday, 10:00am until 6:00pm.
Tuesday’s rivalry dustup 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 February 4.
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.