Game Recap written by Bryce Wright
ESTERO, FL- Wade Epp scored two goals to lead the South Carolina Stingrays to a 5-3 victory over the Florida Everblades Saturday at Germain Arena. The Everblades and Stingrays are now tied atop the South Division standings with 70 points apiece.
The opening frame was an offensive showcase as the Stingrays jumped out to an early 2-0 lead; however, the Everblades were able to fight their way back to take the lead 3-2 before the start of the second period.
4:38 into the opening period Wade Epp riffled a shot past Rasmus Tirronen from the blue line giving the Stingrays a 1-0 lead.
One minute later, David Pacan scored the second goal of the night for the Stingrays. Pacan slid into the offensive zone coming from the left side splitting the Everblades defense and slid the puck past Tirronen’s pad on the right hand side giving the Stingrays a 2-0 lead.
Halfway through the first, Carter Sandlak scored the first goal of the night for the Everblades. Matt Stanisz led the charge into the offensive zone blasting a perfect pass from the left wing boards all the way to a charging Sandlak on the backside of the crease and knocked the puck behind Stingrays goaltender Vitek Vanecek for the goal cutting the Stingrays lead to 2-1.
With five minutes remaining in the opening period, Brant Harris raced past the Stingrays defense and wristed a shot over the shoulder of Vanecek to tie the game up 2-2 on the power play.
Less than a minute later, Gabriel Desjardins tipped a blocked Kevin Lynch shot past Vanecek giving the Everblades the lead 3-2 heading into the second period.
Nearly twelve minutes into the second period, the Stingrays were a man up on the Everblades as they were awaiting a delayed penalty. After multiple scoring opportunities and the Everblades unable to get ahold of the puck, Stephan Vigier was able to squeeze a puck past Tirronen for the Stingrays tying the game up 3-3.
Four minutes left in the middle frame, Joe Devin made a beautiful pass from the left side of the crease to a streaking Nick D’Agostino on the right side who found the back of a wide open net giving the Stingrays a 4-3 lead heading into the third period.
Halfway through the final period, Vitek Vanecek took a stick to his helmet that resulted in a cut on his head and was replaced by Mark Dekanich.
Seven minutes left to play in the third the Everblades had a chance to tie the game up when Jon DiSalvatore tipped the puck above Dekanich and into the goal, however, the net was dislodged before the puck fell in and the goal was called back.
In the final minute of the period, the Everblades pulled Tirronen giving the Everblades the extra attacker, but were unable to capitalize and Wade Epp scored his second goal of the night on a cross-ice empty net goal giving the Stingrays the victory 5-3.
Vanecek earned the win, stopping 15 out of 18 shots on net, while Tirronen takes the loss allowing four goals on 16 shots faced.
The Everblades and Stingrays are back at it again Sunday Feb 28 at Germain Arena. Game time is set at 5:00 p.m.Upcoming Everblades Home GamesSunday, February 28, vs. South Carolina, 5:00 p.m.The first 100 kids to walk through the gates will receive a FREE ticket to Disney's Frozen performance at Germain Arena in March and a Disney coloring book!
Wednesday, March 2, vs. Toledo, 7:30 p.m.This is the final $2 Wednesday of the season! Enjoy $2 hot dogs, $2 drafts beers, $2 wines all night long! College students receive a $5 tickets with free parking when they present their college ID.
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 at www.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.
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###