Written by Robert Molnar
ORLANDO, FL – Brendan O’Donnell scored twice while Anthony Peters made 44-saves to lead the Florida Everblades (27-8-1-2, 57 pts) to a 5-2 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears (20-15-4-2, 46 pts) Saturday night at the Amway Center. With the win, the Everblades now lead Orlando 12 points to four in the battle for the Wawa Sunshine Cup.
Earning an early 5-on-3 power play chance, the Everblades took advantage and scored the game’s opening goal just over two-minutes into the contest. Winning the faceoff, the ‘Blades managed to control the puck in the attacking zone. Picking up a pass from Matt Berry, Zack Kamrass quickly moved the puck to Akim Aliu. Blasting a one-timer towards the net, Aliu’s shot blazed by Orlando goaltender Ryan Massa.
Hit with a too many men on the ice penalty just a few minutes later, it looked like the ‘Blades lead would be short-lived. However, following some solid saves from Everblades goaltender Anthony Peters, it was Orlando who would be made to pay.
Blocking a shot attempt at the top of the zone, Matt Hatch sprang towards the loose puck and set off on a shorthanded breakaway attempt. Moving quickly into the zone, Hatch made a nice move before firing the puck past the blocker of Ryan Massa.
Continuing to dominate the Solar Bears, Florida again added to their lead off an amazing solo effort from Brendan O’Donnell. Getting the puck down deep in the Orlando zone, Brendan O’Donnell battled through traffic on his way towards the goal. Maintaining only one hand on the stick, O’Donnell somehow looped his shot off the shoulder of Ryan Massa. Taking an Everblades bounce, the puck headed into the back of the net.
Entering the second period, the momentum was firmly in the Everblades favor. Continuing to build on their lead, Brendan O’Donnell scored his second goal of the night on a blast from just inside the attacking zone. Moving the puck into the Orlando end, Michael Kirkpatrick sent a drop pass to the onrushing O’Donnell. Stepping into his shot, O’Donnell rifled his shot past the glove of Ryan Massa and into the top corner of the net.
Despite being down 4-0, the Solar Bears refused to give up. Getting the puck into the attacking zone, Orlando’s Milos Bubela made a nice play to setup Orlando’s first goal of the contest. Moving down the slot, Bubela left the puck while continuing to move towards the net. Drawing the attention of the ‘Blades defensemen, Darik Angeli was free to fire his shot past Anthony Peters.
Continuing to up the pressure on Florida, Orlando cut the Everblades lead to just two late in the second period. Right as the team’s 4-on-4 period was ending, Eric Baier picked up the puck. Moving towards the net, Baier sniped a quick shot towards goal that managed to beat Anthony Peters right as the Everblades began their power play opportunity.
Despite gaining some momentum at the end of the second period, Orlando could not find a way to again cut into the Everblades lead. Earning some solid chances throughout the final frame, the Solar Bears were turned away at every opportunity by Anthony Peters.
Securing the win, Michael Kirkpatrick netted a fifth Florida goal on the power play to earn the Everblades a 5-2 win.
Appearing in his 75th game as a member of the Florida Everblades, Anthony Peters moved into fifth place all-time for games played as a goaltender in Everblades history. Making sure the occasion was a joyous one, Peters marked the occasion with an excellent performance in goal, earning the win after stopping 44 of the 46-shots he faced.
Orlando goaltender Ryan Massa played well but saw some bounces go against him as he allowed five-goals on 39 shots.
Returning home to Germain Arena next Wednesday night, the Florida Everblades will square off against the defending Kelly Cup Champion Allen Americans. The game will also be the first ever meeting between the two teams. 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 WJBX News, Talk & More on 101.5-FM.104.3-FM, 770-AM or by CLICKING HEREUpcoming Home Games & PromotionsWednesday, January 25 vs. Allen, 7:30 p.m. – $2 Wednesdays! $2 Beers, Wines & Hot Dogs all night long! Wednesday's are also College Night. College students receive a $5 ticket w/ free parking when they present their College ID at Germain Arena. Wednesday's game marks the first ever meeting between the two clubs!
Wednesday, February 1 vs. Greenville, 7:30 p.m. – Yet another $2 Wednesday! $2 Beers, Wines & Hot Dogs all night long! College students receive a $5 ticket w/ free parking when they present their College ID at Germain Arena.
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
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 an Everblades jersey t-shirt and a $20 gift card from Ford's Garage! Locations include Cape Coral, Downtown Fort Myers and Miromar Outlets in Estero.Discounted Group Tickets: Bring your group of 10 or more to a game at a discounted price, and you may also receive an Everblades souvenir! Group tickets are available for all home games. For more information on group tickets, call 239-948-7825.This release courtesy of Fort Myers Technical College & Cape Coral Technical College
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes###