ESTERO, FL – Kevin Czuczman scored at 8:34 of the third period to lift the Everblades to a 5-4 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears in front of an announced crowd of 7,209 at Germain Arena Saturday night.
Orlando grabbed a 2-0 lead on its first two shots of the game as Peter Sivak and Brad Ross lit the lamp within the first game’s first nine minutes.
Florida got on the board on the power play when Casey Pierro-Zabotel slid a pass across to Alex Lavoie who lifted a shot high into the net for the tally.
Rob Florentino evened the score at two after hurling a shot from the point that beatOrlando goaltender Joe Howe for the goal.
The Everblades scored its third unanswered goal on Adam Brace’s 35th of the season at18:15 of the opening frame to take a 3-2 lead into the break.
Orlando struck back in the second when Ross scored his second goal of the game that took a fortuitous bounce in front and clipped past Florida netminder Allen York to tie the game at three.
With five minutes remaining in the second, Nicholas Deschamps fielded the puck in the slot and while going down to one knee, he snapped a shot into the back of the net to give Florida the 4-3 edge.
The roller coaster ride continued when the Solar Bears knotted the game at four on Brady Vail’s shot from the slot that slipped past York.
Florida reclaimed the lead at 8:34 of the third when Kevin Czuczman delivered a shot from the point that ripped past Howe on the glove side and into the top corner of the net.
The Everblades outshot the Bears 14-2 in the final stanza and hung on for the 5-4 win.
York earned the win allowing four goals on 17 shots while Howe takes the loss allowing five goals on 37 shots faced in the game.
The Everblades close out the regular season with a final record of 49-16-2-6, and 105 points. The Everblades still have a shot to gain the top seed in the Eastern Conference if Toledo loses in regulation in its final game of the season on Sunday againstKalamazoo. With a win by Allen (106 pts) the Everblades no longer have a shot to win the Brabham Cup for the regular season champion.
GAME NOTES: Casey Pierro-Zabotel finished the game with 3 assists…Mitch Wahl extended his point streak to 17 games which tied a league high for the 2014-15 season which is also held by Chad Costello of the Allen Americans…Prior to the game the Everblades held its annual team awards ceremony. Adam Brace was named team MVP. Mike Little was the recipient of the team’s Brandon Coalter Unsung Hero Award, while Brant Harris was tabbed as Rookie of the Year. Chris Kushneriuk received the Piper Buckley Community Service Award.
The Everblades and Solar Bears will now meet in the first round of the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs beginning next Friday (April 17) at Germain Arena. Tickets are currently on sale.
Upcoming Home Games & Promotions
2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs - First Round, Florida Everblades vs. Orlando Solar Bears(Best-of-7 Playoff Series)Game 1 : Friday, April 17, Orlando at Florida, Germain Arena, 7:30 p.m.Game 2: Saturday, April 18, Orlando at Florida, Germain Arena, 7:00 p.m.Game 3: Tuesday, April 21, Florida at Orlando, Amway Center, 7:00 p.m.Game 4: Thursday, April 23, Florida at Orlando, Amway Center, 7:00 p.m.Game 5: Saturday, April 25, Florida at Orlando, Amway Center, 7:00 p.m. **Game 6: Monday, April 27, Orlando at Florida, Germain Arena, 7:30 p.m. **Game 7: Wednesday, April 29, Orlando at Florida, Germain Arena, 7:30 p.m. **** If Necessary
Ticket InformationGame 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.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.
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.