Release Written by Robert Molnar
ESTERO, FL – Ethan Werek scored twice while new Everblades goaltender Rasmus Tirronen stopped 27 shots as the Florida Everblades (19-9-0-0, 38 pts) defeated the Orlando Solar Bears (10-9-2-3, 25 pts) 3-2 in the third game of the regular season in the Wawa Sunshine Cup at Germain Arena Wednesday night.
A fantastic first period by both the Everblades and the Solar Bears saw both teams come up with many excellent scoring chances, the best of which going Orlando's way. Late in the period, the Solar Bears circled the net.
The initial shot plus the wrap-around rebound attempt were both saved by new Everblades goaltender Rasmus Tirronen. While the third attempt did manage to get past Tirronen, the Everblade' were saved by the bell as the horn sounded prior to the puck entering the net.
Though the two teams entered the second period still deadlocked 0-0, it would not take long for the tie to be broken. Needing only the first 1:17 of the second period, the Everblades would strike first.
Holding the puck in the attacking zone, Corey Cowick used a superb pass to find Ethan Werek alone in front of the net. Lifting the puck past Orlando goaltender Ryan Massa, Werek would bag his tenth goal of the season to give the 'Blades a 1-0 lead.
Down but not out, the Solar Bears would answer back at the 9:56 mark of the middle period. Beginning to up the pressure on the Everblades, Orlando would set up shop in the Florida zone. Receiving the puck in the slot, Eric Faille would turn and unleash a fiery wrist shot that managed to beat an outstretched Everblades goaltender Rasmus Tirronen.
Once again tied, it would again be the Everblades who would break the deadlock. Putting pressure on the Solar Bears, 'Blades captain Matt Marquardt received the puck from Kevin Lynch at the left wing circle. An excellent soft pass to the front of the net found Evan Bloodoff, who's backhand effort beat Ryan Massa for a 2-1 Everblades lead.
Entering the third period with the lead, the Everblades would continue up the pressure on Orlando. That early pressure would pay dividends for the Everblades as they would manage to add to their lead just over a minute into the third period. Matt Willows would find Ethan Werek at the left wing circle. A rising slap shot from Werek would beat Ryan Massa high on the blocker side to give the 'Blades a 3-1 lead.
Down two-goals, the Solar Bears refused go away. Just under five minutes after Ethan Werek's second goal of the night, Orlando would answer back. Killing off an Everblades power play, the Solar Bears would rush into the attacking zone. Throwing the puck to the front of the Everblades net, a scramble would ensue. Managing to get his stick on the puck would be Brady Vail who lifted his shot past a diving Rasmus Tirronen to bring Orlando back within one.
However, that would be the closest the Solar Bears would get to tying the game. Tremendous saves by Tirronen as well as some quality defending by the rest of the 'Blades would keep Orlando scoreless for the remainder of the game.
The Everblades will now travel to North Charleston for a pair of games this Friday and Saturday against the South Carolina Stingrays. Game time for both games is set for 7:05 p.m.
Game Tickets: Everblades tickets may be purchased at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online atwww.ticketmaster.com
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The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes###