ESTERO, FL – The Florida Everblades scored three goals in the final 2:07 of regulation to rally for a 3-2 victory over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits Friday night at Germain Arena. With the win, the Everblades have now won ten straight season openers and their ninth consecutive home opener.
Greenville struck first with just 2.5 seconds remaining in the opening period. Justin DaSilva delivered a shot from the point that was tipped and redirected in front by Paul Zanette past Florida goaltender Anthony Peters to give Greenville the 1-0 lead.
The Swamp Rabbits hopped to a two-goal edge at 7:54 of the middle frame. Joe Houk hurled a shot from the point that was batted by Bretton Cameron at the top of the crease to put the score at 2-0.
Greenville netminder Brandon Halverson put forth a solid performance on Friday night, and kept the Everblades in-check for a majority of the game.
Trailing 2-0 in the final minutes of regulation, new Florida Head Coach Brad Ralph called a timeout to discuss strategy before an offensive zone faceoff. Following the timeout, Peters remained on the bench to allow for an extra attacker and the gamble paid off.
Matt Berry centered a pass from behind the net to Zack Kamrass in the slot. Kamrass flexed a shot past Halervson to put Florida on the board and pull within one with 2:07 remaining.
Feeding off the momentum, Florida dumped the puck in the offensive zone, and Peters again stepped off the ice for the extra man. Greenville attempted to clear the puck out of the zone off the glass, but the puck took a fortuitous bounce right to Mike Aviani at the right wing circle. Aviani fired a sniper’s shot in the top corner of the net past Halverson’s blocker to even the score at two with 59 seconds remaining.
The ‘Blades then took advantage of an offensive zone faceoff in the final seconds as Mike Aviani won a faceoff cleanly back to Matt Mackenzie at the point. Mackenzie delivered a hard wrist shot through traffic that clipped past Halverson for the go-ahead marker with 18.5 seconds remaining to secure the dramatic come-from-behind victory 3-2.
Anthony Peters earns the win allowing two goals on 24 shots. Halverson takes the loss despite a solid effort allowing three goals on 34 shots.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Germain Arena.
----Saturday, October 15 vs. Greenville, 7:00 p.m. – Opening Weekend Continues!The Everblades will debut their brand new green jerseys on Saturday. Joins us from 5 to 7 p.m. for our pregame tailgate party featuring live music and bounce houses!
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.
Special Offer! Purchase any new ticket package for the 2016-17 season, and receive a $20 gift card from Ford's Garage! Locations include Cape Coral, Downtown Fort Myers and Miromar Outlets in Estero.
For more information, call 239-948-7825, or stop by the team’s main office located at Germain Arena from Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes###