ESTERO, FL – Philip-Michael Devos scored with 21 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Florida Everblades to a 6-5 victory over the Evansville IceMen on Wednesday night at Germain Arena. The ‘Blades are now tied in points with 8th place Fort Wayne in the Eastern Conference standings.
Evansville jumped on the board first at 4:17 of the opening frame. Florida Goaltender Andy Iles, playing in his first professional game, went to play the puck behind his own net. Iles attempted to clear the puck, but it was blocked by an Evansville player, and tossed in front to former Everblade Kellan Tochkin. Illes dove back into the crease to try to block Tochkin’s shot, but it was too late as the Evansville forward launched a shot high over the outstretch Iles for the goal.
The Everblades tied it on a power play goal at 16:32 of the first. A.J. Jenks delivered a shot from the left wing circle toward the net that was tipped and redirected by Mathieu Roy at the top of the crease. Roy steered the puck over the shoulder of IceMen netminder Mike Clemente for the tying marker.
The IceMen grabbed the lead right back in the final minute of the first period, as Alex Aleardi netted his eighth of the season on wrist shot from the slot to give his team the 3-1 edge after the first 20 minutes of play.
It took just 1:54 for the IceMen to extend their lead to 3-1, as Tristan King lit the lamp on the power play.
Less than a minute later, the Everblades responded on a shot by Brandon MacLean from the slot. MacLean’s wrister found its way to the back of the net past a screened Clemente to pull Florida within one.
Florida tied the game at the nine-minute mark of the second, on a power play strike by Kyle Bonis. After some stellar puck movement by the ‘Blades, Mike Little quickly directed a pass from the slot to the right wing circle to Bonis who then hurled a shot behind a sliding Clemente. The 24th goal of the season for Bonis, knotted the game at three at the second break.
In the third, Evan Bloodoff gave the Everblades the lead when he fired a tough-angled shot from the right wing circle. The shot clipped past Clemente’s right side and into the net to put the ‘Blades on top 4-3.
The Everblades added to their lead with a third power play marker. Mathieu Roy caught the puck at the top of the crease. Roy immediately dropped a pass across the ice to a wide-open A.J. Jenks who blasted a shot behind Clemente to cap off the perfectly executed play, and give the ‘Blades a two-goal advantage.Despite surrendering four unanswered goals, the IceMen refused to quit, and chipped away at the Florida lead. Aleardi finished off a pass from Tristan King on a quick rush into the zone that put the score at 5-4.
At 18:45 of the final stanza, Matt Krug ripped a shot from the point that was tipped and steered past Iles by Aleardi to complete the hat trick, and tie the game at five aside to send the game to overtime.
Florida had a majority of the chances in the extra session, outshooting the IceMen 5-1. In the closing seconds of overtime, MacLean one-timed a shot on net that was stopped by Clemente. However, the rebound bounced right to the stick of Philip-Michael Devos at the top of the crease. Devos sent a backhanded shot into the open net to seal the game for Florida 6-5, with just 21 seconds remaining in overtime.
Iles earned the win in net in his pro debut stopping 25 of 30 shots, while Clemente took the loss surrendering six goals on 31 shots faced.
MacLean finished the game with three points (1g, 2a) while Roy, Jenks, and Devos each registered a goal and an assist. Aleardi netted the hat-trick and recorded seven points in the last two games. Cameron Burt logged two assists.
The Everblades will now continue the homestand as they face the Cincinnati Cyclones this Friday a 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Join us on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Guns ‘N Hoses hockey game!. Come early and watch local police and fire fighters battle it out on the ice! The Everblades will wear specially designed jerseys honoring police and firefighters that will be auctioned off for charity after the game!
Game Tickets: Everblades tickets may be purchased at the Capital Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online at www.ticketmaster.com
Discounted Group Tickets: Bring your group of 10 or more to a game at a discounted price, and also receive an Everblades souvenir! Group tickets are available for all home games. For more information on group tickets, call 239-948-7825.
2014-15 Ticket Packages are currently on sale! Full season and 12-game, and 24-game options are also available! All packages save you money from the box office price, and come with many great benefits. For more information call 239-948-7825, or stop by the Everblades Main Office located at Germain Arena, Monday—Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.Broadcast Information: All ‘Blades games will be broadcast live online at www.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
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning.###