Game Recap By Bryce Wright
ESTERO, FL- Greg Gibson recorded a hat trick in his professional debut to lift the Florida Everblades to a 7-2 victory over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at Germain Arena on Friday night.
The Swamp Rabbits jumped out in front 11:39 in the first period when Jack Combs backhanded the puck right in front of the net past Anthony Peters giving the Swamp Rabbits the early lead 1-0.
Three minutes later, the Everblades got on the board when Brendan O’Donnell took the puck from the right wing circle and cut to the front of the net moving left flipping the puck up and over the shoulder of Alain Valiquette tying the game up 1-1 heading into the second period.
In the second, Greg Gibson riffled a shot past Valiquette and scoring his first goal in his professional debut giving the Everblades the 2-1 edge.
Nearly a minute later Danny New received the puck from Matt Marquardt in the high slot and blasted the puck into the back of the net putting the Everblades out in front 3-1.
However with two minutes remaining in the second, Brian Hart fired a shot off of Peters and Garrett Bembridge was able to put the rebound past Peters cutting the Everblades lead 3-2 heading into the third period.
Halfway through the final period of play, Matt Willows scored on a wrist shot from the right wing circle to put his 22nd goal of the season into the net and giving the Everblades the 4-2 lead.
Three minutes remaining in the third Carter Sandlak from picked up a rebound following a Ralph Cuddemi wrap-around attempt and lifted it high into the net to extend the lead o 5-2.
21 seconds later, Gibson scored his second goal of the night from the slot extending the Everblades lead 6-2.
Gibson scored his third goal of the night about a minute and half later, when he capped off a 2-on-1 rush on pass from Gabriel Desjardins. Gibson hammered a one-timer into the back of the net to secure his first hat trick in his first professional game giving the Everblades the 7-2 win.
Anthony Peters earned the victory stopping 21 out of 23 shots on goal, while Alain Valiquette takes home the loss allowing seven goals on 40 shots.
The Everblades and Swamp Rabbits are back at it again Saturday March 26. Game time is set at 7:00 p.m. at Germain Arena. Details below.
Upcoming Home Games
Saturday, March 26 vs. Greenville, 7:00 p.m. – Guns N' Hoses night. It's a hockey double-header as local police and fire fighters battle it out on the ice at 5:15 p.m. Then at 7:00 p.m. the Everblades will wear special Guns N' Hoses themed jerseys (pictured below) which will be auctioned off following the game. A ticket to the Everblades game gets you into the Guns N' Hoses game for free.
Pregame tailgate party featuring live music, bounce houses and face painting begins at 5:00 p.m.
Safeguard Shredding Services will also be bringing a truck on-site to Germain Arena. Fans can bring anything that needs to be shredded before the game and Safeguard Shredding Services will shred for FREE from 5:00-7:00 pm!
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###