EVANSVILLE, IN – Mathieu Roy scored twice to help lead the Florida Everblades to a 3-2 lead at the Ford Center Tuesday evening. Florida now improves to 3-1 on the current six-game road trip.
Prior to the game, the ‘Blades received a boost to their lineup as forward Matthew Pistilli and defenseman Austin Levi returned to the team form the American Hockey League.
It didn’t take long for Pistilli to make an impact, as he helped set up Florida’s first goal of the game at 2:37 of the opening period. Pistilli fired a shot from the right wing circle, which was tipped in front by Mathieu Roy. Roy’s tip angled the puck through the five-hole of Evansville netminder Mike Clemente for the goal.
Ten minutes later, the IceMen evened the game at one. Alex Aleardi broke into the zone past two defenders in the slot and broke in on net for as one-on-one chance with ‘Blades goaltender Mac Carruth. Aleardi wristed a shot that beat Carruth high on the glove side for the tying marker.
In the second period, Pistilli set up Roy a second time, as he led a 2-on-1 rush into the zone. Pistilli saucered a pass across to Roy on the left wing, and Roy squeezed a shot behind Clemente on the shortside to put the ‘Blades back on top 2-1.
Evansville countered again nearly five minutes later. Matt Lowry directed a shot on goal from the right wing side that was stopped by Carruth. However, the rebound bounced directly to Guillaume Lepine at the left wing circle, Lepine then rifled a slapshot behind Carruth to tie the game at two.
Florida claimed its third lead of the game less than two minutes later on the power play. Rob Kwiet hurled a shot on goal that was fended off by Clemente. The rebound bounced to the left side of the crease, and Brandon MacLean flipped the puck into the net on the rebound to give the ‘Blades a 3-2 lead heading into the second intermission.
Evansville was on the attack for a majority of the third period, but Carruth was able to turn aside all nine shots faced in the final frame, to preserve a tight 3-2 victory Tuesday night.
Carruth earns his first win as an Everblade, stopping 29 of 31 shots faced, while Clemente takes the loss allowing three goals on 22 shots. Pistilli and Kwiet each finished with two assists in the game.
Florida will travel to Greenville, South Carolina to take on the Road Warriors on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. The game 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.
The ‘Blades return home on Wednesday, March 26 against Evansville. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Fans can enjoy $2 hot dogs, $2 Bud Light drafts, and $2 Barefoot Wines for the game.,
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning.