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Everblades Fall in Toledo; Clinch Playoff Spot

Saturday, March 25th
Everblades Fall in Toledo; Clinch Playoff Spot

Written by Robert Molnar 

TOLEDO, OH – Tylor Spinks scored a hat trick while Matt Caito added two goals and an assist to help lead the Toledo Walleye (48-14-2-1, 99 pts) to a 8-2 win over the Florida Everblades (41-19-2-3, 87 pts) Saturday night at the Huntington Center.  Despite the loss, the Everblades still clinched a playoff spot on Saturday by virtue of Cincinnati's 1-0 loss at Fort Wayne.  The 'Blades become the first Eastern Conference team to clinch a spot in the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs.

BOX SCORE

Toledo jumped out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period as Tylor Spink sniped a great shot into the top corner of the net. Spink brought the puck in down the wing. Snapping a quick wrist shot, Spink sent the puck top shelf past the glove of Everblades goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic.

The Walleye took a 2-0 following a massive scramble in front of the Florida goal. Making an amazing save, Alex Nedeljkovic managed to clear the puck out of his crease before it crossed the goal line. Unfortunately, Toledo reclaimed the puck and quickly cycled it back to the blue line. Before Nedeljkovic could recover, Simon Denis blasted his shot into the open net.

The Walleye extended their lead to 3-0 just before the end of the first period, Toledo took advantage of a quick developing two-on-one opportunity to take a commanding lead. Tylor Spink brought the puck quickly into the attacking zone and showed some great patience before sending a pass across to Charlie O’Connor who buried his chance in behind Alex Nedeljkovic.

Toledo added another tally just 15-seconds into the middle frame to take a 4-0 lead. On the power play, Toledo swarmed the puck in towards the net. With an initial shot from Simon Denis stopped by Alex Nedeljkovic, the rebound would carry the puck to the right wing side where Matt Caito hurled the second chance opportunity into the back of the net.

Less than a minute later, the Walleye added a fifth goal as they once again took advantage of a second chance opportunity to take a 5-0 lead. Simon Denis skated into the zone and fired the initial shot towards goal. Bouncing off the pads of Alex Nedeljkovic, the puck came right back out to Tylor Spink who was alone in the slot. Wasting no time, Spink clipped his wrist shot past Nedeljkovic.

Toledo scored a sixth goal just over three minutes into the third period to further prove that it just wasn’t the Everblades night with a center ice tally from Matt Caito. Setting up in an effort to send the puck down into the Florida zone, Caito hammered a wicked slap shot that bounced off the glove of Alex Nedeljkovic and flipped right into the net. Following the goal, Nedeljkovic would be pulled in favor of Anthony Peters.

However, Anthony Peters did not fare much better in goal for the ‘Blades. Just over three minutes into his stint on the ice, the Walleye added their seventh goal of the game on a point blank chance from out in front of the net. Alex Globke sent the puck back out in front where Matt Pohlkamp ripped his chance into the back of the net.

Early in the third, the Everblades did keep themselves from being shutout as Matt Berry stuffed home a second chance opportunity to make the score 7-1. An initial shot from John McCarron was saved by Toledo goaltender Jake Patterson, however, the rebound took the puck right back out in front where a waiting Berry quickly banged home his point blank chance.

Florida started to build some momentum, adding a second goal just over two minutes later to make the score 7-2. Once again getting to the front of the Toledo net, John McCarron showed some patience as he waited for Jake Patterson to move towards him and sent a quick pass across the crease.  Matt Berry added his second goal of the contest as he blasted the puck right behind the sliding Patterson.

Despite this late push, the ‘Blades could not find a way to get back in this game. Converting his hat trick opportunity midway through the third period, Tylor Spinks ended any hope the Everblades had of making a comeback. With the remaining part of the third period going scoreless, the game would end with Florida suffering an 8-2 loss.

Jake Patterson had more than a few bounces go his way but had a pretty solid night in goal for the Walleye, earning the win after stopping 31 of the 33 shots he faced. Alex Nedeljkovic had a rough night in goal for the Everblades, taking the loss after allowing six goals on 17 shots. Anthony Peters also appeared in goal for the Everblades, stopping 9 of the 11 shots he faced.

Finishing off their three games in three days slate tomorrow afternoon, the Florida Everblades now travel to the Memorial Coliseum to take on the Fort Wayne Comets. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. Fans can also catch the game broadcast on WJBX News, Talk & More on 101.5-FM.104.3-FM, 770-AM or by CLICKING HEREFans can also watch the game online at ECHL.TV

Upcoming Home Games & Promotions Wednesday, March 29 vs. Kalamazoo, 7:30 p.m. – The final $2 Wednesday of the season!  Fans can enjoy $2 hot dogs, $2 beers, $2 wines all night long! Wednesday is also College Night.  College students receive a $5 tickets with free parking when they present their College ID at Germain Arena.

Friday, March 31 vs. Kalamazoo, 7:30 p.m. – Joins us for dinner & hockey, as kids eat FREE in the Breakaway Sports Pub with the purchase of an adult entree! The first 400 fans will receive FREE passes to the Naples Zoo!   There will also be a Jason's Deli giveaway as well!  We will be celebrating youth hockey throughout the night with the Junior Everblades Hiockey Association.

Saturday, April 1 vs. Kalamazoo, 7:00 p.m. – First 500 fans (aged 12 and under) will receive a FREE Everblades Jersey courtesy of Wendy's!   It is also Storybook Prince & Princess Night, featuring themed characters and photo booth in the concourse!  From 5-7 p.m. there will be live music and bounce houses for the kids!Ticket InformationGame 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.com

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.  We offer several tickets packages designed to help fit your budget and schedule.

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###

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