ESTERO, FL – Adam Brace’s first career hat trick helped lead the Florida Everblades to 5-4 shootout win over the Indy Fuel Saturday night in front of a season-high crowd of 7,025 at Germain Arena. With the win, the Everblades (17-3-0-1, 35 pts) maintain first place in the East Division and have now won five straight contests.The Everblades continued their theme of racing out to quick starts on Saturday, and that suited the fans just fine as Adam Brace scored the game’s first goal at 3:45 of the opening period to spark the wild celebration of teddy bears and stuffed animals. The annual Teddy Bear Toss was officially underway when Brace poked in the puck on the goaline behind Indy netminder Eric Levine.
After a 12 minute-clean up of the ice following the Teddy Bear Toss, the Everblades made it 2-0 Just 24 seconds later in game time. Rookie Mike Aviani gloved down a puck in front of the Indy net and set it down onto the forehand side of his stick. Aviani then launched a wrist shot past Levine on the shortside for the goal.Brace scored his second goal of the game more than halfway through the first period on the power play. Mitch Wahl threaded a pass from the left wing circle all the way to Brace on the far side of the crease. Brace instantly one-timed the puck behind Levine to put Florida on top 3-0 after the first period. Following the period, Levine was pulled allowing three goals on 20 first period shots faced. Cody Reichard came in relief of Levine.Florida’s momentum was quickly quelled in the second period when Pete Massar caught a puck on a pass at the top of the crease and slid it by Everblades goaltender Allen York for the first Fuel tally at the 31-second mark.Halfway though the period, Justin Holl netted a power play goal to pull the Fuel within one. Indy tied it on the second tally of the night by Massar who crept up behind the defense and delivered a wrister from the circle that beat York.
Both teams exchanged chances in the third, but the Fuel scored its fourth unanswered goal of the game at 16:32. Dan Ford fired a shot from the blue line that clipped past a screened York for the go-ahead marker.
The Everblades received a power play with 2:23 remaining in regulation. Florida pulled the goaltender to allow for the extra attacker to create the 6-on-4 situation. Wahl once again delivered a cross-ice feed to Brace who buried it behind Reichard for the tying goal with just 56 seconds remaining. The goal also marked the first career-hat trick for Brace, who now has 11 goals on the season.
Neither team could seal the game in the extra session, which forced the overtime shootout. York stopped all four shooters in the shootout, while the ‘Blades received goals from John McInnis and Wahl to secure the dramatic 5-4 victory.
York earned the win stopping 28 of 32 shots, while Reichard takes the shootout loss allowing just one goal on 28 shots faced. The Everblades posted a season high 48 shots on net in the game.
The Everblades will continue its homestand next Wednesday and Friday when the battle the Gwinnett Gladiators.
Upcoming Home Games & Promotions .Wednesday, December 17, 7:30 p.m. vs. Gwinnett Gladiators -- Fans can enjoy $2 drafts, $2 wines, and $2 hot dogs in the concourse all night long! Wednesday night is also College Night! College students can receive a game ticket and free parking for just $5 when they present their College I.D. Postgame skate with Santa! Skate rentals will be available, or fans can bring their own skates.Friday, December 19, 7:30 p.m. vs. Gwinnett Gladiators -- Holiday Game! Skate with Santa and the Everblades players following the game. Fans must bring their own skates, as skate rentals will not be available for Friday's postgame skate.Holiday Ticket Packs are now on sale! Receive four endzone vouchers for any game during the regular season, an Everblades holiday t-shirt, and an autograph puck for just $50! Holiday packs will be available at the Everblades information table in the concourse during home games, or at the Everblades main office located a Germain Arena.
Ticket InformationGame Tickets: Everblades tickets may be purchased at the Century Link Box Office located at Germain Arena, or at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online atwww.ticketmaster.comDiscounted 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 239-948-7825.12 & 24 Game Ticket Packages are currently on sale! 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.