ESTERO, FL – Evan Bloodoff scored a goal and added an assist, while Andy Iles made 28 saves to help lift the Florida Everblades to a 3-2 victory over the Kalamazoo Wings Friday night at Germain Arena.
Florida received its first goal from its newest member at 15:54 of the opening frame. Mitch Wahl intercepted a puck in the slot and broke toward the net. Instead of shooting, Wahl waited for Kalamazoo goaltender Joel Martin to commit, and then slid a pass on the wing to newcomer Steven Whitney, who tapped the puck into the open net behind Martin. Whitney’s first goal of the season in his Everblades debut put Florida on top 1-0.
Kalamazoo tied the game up at 13:39 of the second period when Lane Scheidl was hit in the open ice and lost the puck. However, his teammate Michael Neal swooped in and wristed a shot over the shoulder of Florida netminder Andy Iles for the tying marker.
The Everblades reclaimed the lead just a minute and a half later with a display of speed and skill. Evan Bloodoff played the puck to himself off the boards as he entered the zone, and used his speed to beat the defenseman on his way to flipping a shot past the blocker of Martin for the go-ahead goal.
The Florida lead increased to 3-1 just three minutes into the third, and exactly one second after a power play opportunity had expired. Cameron Burt set up a one-time pass to Adam Brace who blasted a shot that ripped into the back of the Kalamazoo net.
The Wings refused to go down without a fight, and pulled within one with 1:09 remaining. Kalamazoo received a power play, and then pulled their goaltender to set up a 6-on-4 situation. Eric Kattelus delivered a diagonal pass to the opposite side circle to Dane Fox. Fox angled a shot high into the net that hit underneath the water bottle sitting on top for the goal to pull the Wings within one.
The late rally fell short as the ‘Blades held on for the 3-2 victory. Iles earns his tenth win of the season, stopping 28 of 30 shots on the night. Despite making some big saves in the game, Joel Martin takes the loss allowing three goals on 24 shots.
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The two teams meet again on Saturday at Germain Arena beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Upcoming Home Games & Promotions
Saturday, February 14, vs. Kalamazoo, 7:00 p.m. “Laces of Love” shoe drive. Fans may donate new children’s sneakers/shoes when they arrive at the game. The shoes will be redeemed for a red stress ball which can be thrown onto the ice when the Everblades score their first goal! McDonald's Tailgate starts at 5:00 p.m. featuring live music, bounce houses and more!Hearts & Hockey Ticket Packs are now on sale for just $50!*T-Shirt*Autographed Puck*4-Endzone Ticket Vouchers which can be redeemed for any game this season.
To order, call 239-948-7825, or stop by the Everblades main office at Germain Arena. Hearts & Hockey Packs are also available on game nights at the Everblades information table located in the concourse.
Game Tickets: Everblades tickets may be purchased at the Century Link Prism Box Office located at Germain Arena, or at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online atwww.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.
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.