ESTERO, FL – Geoff Walker netted a hat trick to lead the Florida Everblades to a 3-2 victory over the Reading Royals Friday night at Germain Arena. Despite the win, a victory by Fort Wayne over Evansville Friday night put an end to the Everblades playoff hopes.
Despite an aggressive attacked by the ‘Blades out of the gate, the Royals took the lead in the game. After a 2-on-1 opportunity was broken up, Jesse Todd raced to grab the puck along the end wall. Todd threw the puck off the body of Florida goaltender Andy Iles and banked it into the net for the goal.
Florida tied the game at 13:20. After a faceoff win, Geoff Walker fired a shot past Reading netminder Brandon Anderson to tie the game at one.
The ‘Blades grabbed the lead in the second period on the power play. Walker raced into the zone on the right wing side and blistered a slapshot past the glove of Anderson to put Florida on top 2-1.
Nearly three minutes late, Philip-Michael Devos picked the pocket of Reading’s Ryan Cruthers. Devos curled to the slot and slid a pass to Walker on the left wing circle. Walker hammered home a one-timer behind Anderson for the goal to put the ‘Blades on top by two.
Reading cut into the lead on a great individual play by Michel Cajkovsky. Cajkovsky carried the puck from end-to-end and then let loose a slapshot that clipped past the reaching glove of Iles in the right corner of the net to pull the Royals within one after two periods.
In the third, Florida pieced together a gutsy effort to shutdown the Reading attack. Iles stopped all nine shots faced to preserve the impressive 3-2 victory over the top-seeded Royals. Florida completes the regular season series sweep of Reading 3-0.
The game ended with excitement for Florida, but quickly the emotion shifted to disappointment as Fort Wayne defeated Evansville 4-3 moments later, to end the Everblades playoff hopes. This marks the first time in the team’s 16-year history in which the ‘Blades failed to reach the postseason.
The ‘Blades will close out its season tomorrow at Germain Arena against the Greenville Road Warriors at 7:00 p.m.Fan Appreciation Weekend Continues tomorrow! Naples Daily News Rally Card giveaway, Westin Bed giveaway during 1st intermission, and auction of Everblades season worn jerseys (white jerseys) following the game! McDonald’s Tailgate Party Starts at 5:00 p.m. featuring live music & bounce houses for the kids! Prior to the game, the awards continue as we will announce this year’s Team MVP!
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 affiliateof the Carolina Hurricanes and TampaBay Lightning.