Recap Written by Robert Molnar
DULUTH, GA – Kevin Lynch scored twice while Matt Willows added a goal and an assist to lead the Florida Everblades (40-21-0-2, 82 pts) to a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Gladiators (30-27-5-2, 67 pts) Sunday afternoon at the Infinite Energy Arena.
Getting on the board first, the Everblades stormed to a 1-0 lead off a breakaway from Kevin Lynch. Taking the feed from Rob Florentino, Kevin Lynch blew past his defender and onto a breakaway. Moving in towards to the top of the crease, Lynch deked to the backhand and lifted his shot past Atlanta goaltender Kent Patterson.
The ‘Blades lead did not last long. Just over a minute after the Lynch goal, Atlanta answered back to tie the game. Getting the puck into the attacking zone, Brock Higgs initial shot was stopped by Everblades goaltender Rasmus Tirronen. However, the rebound took the puck back up into the slot where a hard charging Thomas Frazee got to the puck and jammed his shot past a recovering Tirronen.
Re-taking the lead midway through the opening period, the ‘Blades took advantage of an offensive zone faceoff to take the 2-1 advantage. Winning the faceoff, Brendan O’Donnell got the puck back to Corey Syvret at the blue line. Setting up in front of the Atlanta goal, Kevin Lynch tipped the Syvret shot just enough to get the puck past Kent Patterson.
Doubling their lead just a few minutes later, the ‘Blades capitalized on a rebound in front of the goal to extend their lead. Winning the puck along the boards, rookie Ralph Cuddemi fired a quick shot on goal. Stopped by Kent Patterson, the rebound took the puck to the open backside of the net where a waiting Rob Florentino quickly buried the puck into the back of the net.
The Gladiators got one back early in the second period, taking advantage of an Everblades turnover in their own zone. Forcing an Everblades turnover in the corner, Atlanta took advantage. Getting the puck to Chris Auger, Auger sent a cross ice feed from circle to circle to a waiting Shawn Bates. Taking the one-time opportunity, Bates blasted his shot past the glove of Rasmus Tirronen.
Continuing to push, Atlanta needed only the first 23-seconds of the third period to tie the game. Cutting off the puck at the half wall, Derek Nesbitt quickly threw the puck towards the front of the Everblades goal. Meeting the puck would be Chris Auger who stick deflected the puck past Anthony Peters.
With the game tied, the ‘Blades regained some momentum of a tremendous play from Carter Sandlak. Forcing a turnover in the trapezoid behind the Atlanta net, Sandlak picked up the buck and flipped it skyward over the net. Hitting the back of Atlanta goaltender Kent Patterson, the puck deflected backwards and into the net to put the ‘Blades up 4-3.
Extending their lead, the ‘Blades ended a power play drought, scoring their first power play goal in their last fourteen attempts midway through the final frame. Winning the faceoff, the puck was banged around between players before getting into the slot. Picking up the puck, Matt Willows turned and hurled the puck past Kent Patterson and into the back of the net.
A late goal with four-second remaining the game for Atlanta would prove to be a case of too little, too late. The shorthanded tally from Ian Barteaux did give the Gladiators some hope, however after losing the center ice faceoff, that hope disappeared with the Everblades taking the 5-4 win.
Rasmus Tirronen made some super saves in goal for the Everblades, earning the win after stopping 25 of the 29-shots he faced. Kent Patterson takes the loss in goal for Gladiators, allowing five goals on 27-shots.
The Florida Everblades return home to Germain Arena this Friday night to take on South Division rivals, Greenville Swamp Rabbits. 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 HEREUpcoming Everblades Home Games
Friday, March 25 vs. Greenville, 7:30 p.m. – KIDS NIGHT presented by Wendy's! Kids eat FREE in the Breakaway Sports Pub with the purchase of an adult entree! The first 200 kids through the gates will receive an Everblades /Wendy's giveaway! Options include jerseys, coolers, and back packs!
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 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 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.
2016-17 Season Ticket Plans Now Available: Full and flexible partial season ticket plans are currently available for the 2016-17 season. We offer several tickets packages designed 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###