ORLANDO, FL – Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored twice to lift the Everblades to a 5-4 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears in Game 5 of the East Division Semifinals at the Amway Center Saturday night. Florida now leads the best of seven series 3-2.
For the fourth straight game in the series, Orlando scored first. The Everblades coughed up the puck in their own end, and Brett Findlay picked up the turnover and wristed a shot past Florida goaltender Allen York at 2:29 of the opening frame. .
The Everblades tied the game on the power play nearly five minutes later. Jesse Graham hurled a shot from the blue line that cleanly beat Orlando netminder Garret Sparks to put the game tied at one after 20 minutes play.
Florida grabbed the lead halfway through the second period when Casey Pierro-Zabotel swept a loose puck in the slot on the backhand past Sparks to give the ‘Blades a 2-1 edge.
Just two minutes later, Orlando’s Ben Johnson deked around a defender low at the circle and angled a backhanded shot high into the Florida net to even the game at two.
The Solar Bears fed off the momentum and reclaimed the lead just one minute later. Brady Vail flexed a shot into the back of the net after he picked up a Florida turnover in the zone. Orlando took the 3-2 lead into the second break.
The Everblades buckled down defensively in the third, holding the Solar Bear to without a shot for the first 14 minutes of the period.
The Everblades took advantage and tied the game at 9:53. During a wild scrabble in front, Corey Trivino gathered the puck amongst the crowd in front of the net and delivered it past an outstretched Sparks for the tying tally.
Pierro-Zabotel gave the Everblades the lead at the 13:14 mark when he picked up a rebound from Alex Aleardi’s shot and flipped the puck on the backhand into the net to put the ‘Blades back on top 4-3.
Mike little added an empty net goal with 48 seconds remaining to give Florida some breathing room.
With 19 seconds remaining Florida goaltender Allen York sustained an injury, and was forced to leave the game.
The Solar Bears did add a goal with the extra attacker with 8 seconds remaining, but it would not be enough as the Everblades held on for the 5-4 victory.
York earns the win stopping 19 of 22 shots, while Sparks takes the loss despite a solid effort allowing four goals on 44 shots faced.
GAME NOTES: Casey Pierro-Zabotel has scored a goal in three straight games in the series (4 goals)….Alex Aleardi finished the game with three assists…The Everblades have recorded 40 or more shots in each of the last three games of the series.
The two teams will meet in Game 6 on Monday at Germain Arena. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. Tickets for Monday’s Game 6 are currently on sale, and are available at the Century Link Prism Box Office located at Germain Arena, or online atwww.ticketmaster.com
Fans can tune in online at www.theislandfm.net
2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs - First Round, Florida Everblades vs. Orlando Solar Bears
(Florida leads 3-2) Game 1 : Friday, April 17, Orlando - 2 at Florida - 3 Game 2: Saturday, April 18, Orlando - 1 at Florida - 5 Game 3: Tuesday, April 21, Florida - 2 at Orlando - 5Game 4: Thursday, April 23, Florida - 3 at Orlando - 4Game 5: Saturday, April 25, Florida - 5 at Orlando - 4 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
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.
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.