DULUTH, GA – Kevin Lynch scored the game-winning goal at the 4:08 mark of overtime as the Florida Everblades (31-12-0-1, 63 pts) rallied from two goals down to defeat the Atlanta Gladiators (25-17-3-1, 54 pts) 4-3 at the Infinite Energy Arena Friday night. Following the result, the Everblades now hold an nine-point division lead over Atlanta.
The Gladiators opened the nights scoring at the 9:31 mark of the first period. Moving into the attacking zone, Gladiators’ captain Derek Nesbitt’s sent a pass cross ice to an onrushing Max Everson. Picking up the puck at the left wing circle, Everson fired a shot off the bottom of the crossbar and down into the net.
Down 1-0, the Everblades scored their first of the night with exactly two-minutes remaining in the opening period to tie the game. Pressuring Atlanta in their own zone, Kevin Lynch forced a turnover in the slot with the tipped puck falling right to the stick of Jon DiSalvatore. Playing in his 900th career game, DiSalvatore lifted his shot past former Everblades goaltender Matt Ginn for his 259th career goal.
With an almost identical timing to their first goal, the Gladiators retook the lead scoring at the 9:00 mark of the middle frame. Once again getting the puck into the circle, Ian Barteaux drilled a shot past Everblades’ goaltender Anthony Peters.
Atlanta again added to their lead midway through the second period. Picking up the puck near the Everblades net, Brock Higgs used a centering pass to find Shawn Bates. The newly signed Gladiator hammered his shot past Anthony Peters and into the back of the net to give the Gladiators’ a 3-1 lead.
The ‘Blades would begin their rally midway through the third period. Going on the power play, the Everblades took advantage. Holding the puck in the Atlanta zone, Jon DiSalvatore chipped the puck towards Kevin Lynch in the corner. Lynch picked up the puck, skated towards the low circle and cut into the slot area where he found a shooting lane. A quick wrist shot from Lynch’s bounced off Matt Ginn and into the net to bring the ‘Blades within one.
Just 22-seconds later, the Everblades capitalized on some rebounds in front of the net to tie the game. Stopping initial shots from Carter Sandlak and Maxime St-Cyr, Matt Ginn found himself giving up one too many rebounds as Carter Sandlak picked up the second rebound at the left side creased and skied the puck high into the net to put the ‘Blades back on level terms with the Gladiators.
With neither team able to find a go-ahead late, the game would proceed to a sudden death five-minute overtime period. Holding off the Gladiators for the first four-minutes, the Everblades would catch a break late in the extra session. Racing into the zone, Kevin Lynch fired a shot past Matt Ginn at the 4:08 mark of overtime to give the Everblades the 4-3 win.
Anthony Peters earns the win for the Everblades after making some sensational saves in overtime while also stopping 25 of the 28-shots he faced. Former ‘Blades goaltender Matt Ginn takes the overtime loss in for the Gladiators, allowing four goals on 34-shots.
The Florida Everblades end their short two-game road trip tomorrow night at the North Charleston Coliseum where they will take on the South Carolina Stingrays in a pivotal South Division matchup. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Eastern time. Fans can catch the game broadcast on 770 AM or online by CLICKING HERE
Upcoming Home Games
Wednesday, February 10, vs. Orlando, 7:30 p.m. $2 drafts, $2 wines, $2 hot dogs all night long! College students receive a $5 tickets with free parking when they present their college ID at Germain Arena.
Friday, February 12, vs. Elmira, 7:30 p.m. Kids eat free in the Breakaway Sports Pub with the purchase of an adult entree!
Saturday, February 13, vs. Elmira, 7:00 p.m. Laces of Love - Bring a new pair of shoes to the game to donate to this great cause! To purchase special fundraising tickets to the game benefiting Lace of Love, please contact Alex Reed with the Everblades at 239-948-7825, ext. 1024.
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
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.
Partial Season Ticket Packages: Flexible partial season ticket plans are available to help fit your budget and schedule. For more information, call 239-948-7825, or stop by the team's main office located at Germain Arena from Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fans may also stop by our sales tables located in the concourse at Everblades games. .
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes###