Written by Robert Molnar
ORLANDO, FL – Brenden O’Donnell, Gabriel Desjardins and Alexander Kuqali each scored a goal to lead the Florida Everblades (43-21-0-2, 88 pts) to a 3-2 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears (31-26-4-5, 71 pts) Wednesday night at the Amway Center. The Florida Everblades now lead the Wawa Sunshine Cup Series 14 points to six over the Solar Bears.
Taking advantage of an early power play, Orlando struck first, taking the lead just 3:25 into the opening period. Getting the puck at the left wing circle, Denver Manderson sent a stretch pass across to the right wing circle. Corralling the puck, T.J. Foster slipped the puck past the right pad of Everblades’ goaltender Anthony Peters.
Answering back, the ‘Blades tied the game of an amazing solo effort from Brendan O’Donnell in the attacking zone. Wrestling the puck away from a Solar Bears defenseman, O’Donnell deked past some Orlando players before stuffing the puck past Orlando goaltender Ryan Massa and into the bottom corner of the net.
Entering the second period, the ‘Blades again took advantage of a great solo effort to score a shorthanded goal. Timing his move perfectly, Gabriel Desjardins intercepted the puck at his own blue line to set him off on the shorthanded breakaway. Moving towards the Solar Bears’ net, Desjardins flipped his shot just over the right pad of Ryan Massa to put the Everblades up 2-1.
Doubling their lead, the Everblades began to build some momentum thanks to a great one-on-one save from goaltender Anthony Peters. Less than a minute after Peters’ save, the ‘Blades managed to break on a 3-on-1 opportunity. Stopping Matt Willows initial shot, Ryan Mass gave up the rebound. Getting to the puck first, Kevin Lynch managed to get to the puck first and send it back across the face of goal to newcomer Alexander Kuqali whose shot buried itself into the back of the net for his first professional goal.
Down by two goals, Orlando began to throw more and more at the Everblades with every passing second. Taking advantage of a late power play, the Solar Bears cut the ‘Blades lead in half with just over four minutes remaining in the game. Using his speed, Eric Faille blew by the Everblades defenseman. Moving towards the goal, Faille fired his shot off the glove of Anthony Peters and into the net.
Pulling the goaltender in favor of an extra attacker late in the game, Orlando had some good chances to tie the game. However, some tremendous saves from Anthony Peters kept Orlando out of the back of the net at every opportunity to earn the Everblades a hard fought 3-2 win.
Anthony Peters made tremendous saves in the third period for the Everblades, earning the win after stopping 32 of the 34-shots he faced. Ryan Massa suffers the loss in goal for Orlando, allowing three goals on 22-shots.
The Florida Everblades return home to Germain Arena this Friday night to take on the visiting Atlanta Gladiators. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Eastern time. Fans can purchase tickets at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online at www.ticketmaster.com
Fans can also catch the game broadcast on 770 AM or online by CLICKING HERE
Upcoming Home Games & Promotions
Friday, April 1 vs. Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. – Kids Eat Free in the Breakaway sports pub with the purchase of an adult Entree!
Saturday, April 2 vs. Atlanta, 7:00 p.m. – Star Wars Night!
- The first 1,000 fans will receive FREE lightsabers!
- The first 100 fans will receive a FREE movie ticket to Paragon Theaters
- FREE popcorn for everyone from 6-7:00 p.m.
- Join us for a pregame ceremony prior to the game as we honor two of our own as Craig Brush & Peter Karmanos Jr. and will recognized for their Hall of Fame inductions this year!
- Following the game, Everblades Defenseman Rob Florentino will cut his long hair to benefit Wigs for Kids!
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###