GREENVILLE, SC – The Greenville Road Warriors scored four goals in the final 10:34 of regulation to defeat the Florida Everblades 8-4 at Bons Secours Wellness Arena Friday night. The Everblades (22-5-0-1, 45pts) now fall to 3-2 on the current six-game road trip.An East Division main event needed a heavyweight tilt to start things off, as Greenville’s Emerson Clark and Florida’s Tyson Gimblett energized the building with a wild toe-to-toe scrap just 1:32 into the game.
The Road Warriors responded first when leading scorer Vinny Saponari slipped in behind the defense and beat Florida goaltender Andy Iles on a wrist shot to give Greenville a 1-0 lead.
Evan Bloodoff evened things at one when he unleashed a sniper’s shot from the slot which ripped high into the corner of the net past Greenville goaltender Jeff Malcolm.
Three minutes later, Josh Nicholls finished off a 2-on-1 rush to put the Road Warriors back on top 2-1.
The ‘Blades were able to strike back less than two minutes later on a nice transition play into the zone. Brant Harris feathered a pass from the left wing which dropped behind the Greenville defense and landed directly on the stick of Alex Lavoie at the low slot. Lavoie flipped a backhand shot behind Malcolm to tie the game up at two after 20 minutes of play.
Greenville reclaimed the lead six minutes into the second when captain Bretton Cameron blocked a shot at the blue line and took off with the puck for a 1-on-1 chance against Iles. Cameron waited for Iles to make a move and then steered the puck behind him for the goal.
Florida countered just 47 seconds later, when Bloodoff again zipped a shot past Malcolm from the slot to tie the game at three.
The Everblades finally broke the see-saw theme by scoring the game’s next goal. Alex Aleardi carried the puck down the wing and waited for a diving Greenville defender to slide by. Aleardi curled the puck around, and dribbled a shot through the five-hole of Malcolm to give Florida its first lead of the game.
The Road Warriors were awarded a power play with 27 seconds remaining in the second period. On the ensuing faceoff, the draw was won by Tyler Brown and the puck was hammered on a shot by Chris McCarthy which beat Iles for the goal to tie the game at four just seconds before the end of the period.
Both teams traded offensive chances for the first half of the third period, but that all changed at 9:26 mark. The Road Warriors raced into the zone on a 2-on-1 rush. Marco St. Croix delivered a pass across the crease to Nicholls who slipped the puck into the net for the goal. The Everblades argued the puck was kicked in off Nicholls’ skate. After a discussion amongst the officiating crew, the goal stood, and Greenville took a 5-4 lead.
The goal quickly shifted the momentum in favor of Greenville which received three more goals in the ensuing three and half minutes of play. Emerson Clark, St. Croix, and Kyle Jean each lit the lamp to give the Road Warriors a commanding 8-4 lead and the eventual win.
Jeff Malcolm earned the win allowing four goals on 40 shots face, while Iles takes the loss making 35 saves on 43 shots. Forward Evan Bloodoff finished the game with two goals, and has posted three markers in the last two games.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. as the Everblades close out their road trip. Fans can listen to the game online at http://theislandfm.net/
TRANSACTIONS: Goaltenders Daniel Altshuller (Charlotte) and Allen York (Syracuse) were returned to the Everblades from the American Hockey League on Friday. Neither player made an appearance in their recent AHL call ups.
Upcoming Home Games & PromotionsFriday, January 9, 7:30 p.m. vs. Orlando .Saturday, January 10, 7:00 p.m. vs. Orlando - The Fur Circus will be performing and it's Heroes and Villains Night! 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.
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning.###