TOLEDO, OH – Dane Walters scored two goals while Charlie O’Connor scored the eventual game-winner midway through the third period to help lead the Toledo Walleye (47-14-2-1, 97 pts) to a 6-4 win over the Florida Everblades (41-18-2-3, 87 pts) Friday night at the Huntington Center.
Despite both the Everblades and Walleye seeing their fair share of quality scoring chances throughout the opening period, the frame remained scoreless throughout. Both Everblades goaltender Anthony Peters and Toledo netminder Cal Heeter came up with some big saves as neither wanted to be the goalie that allowed the game’s opening goal.
Early in the second, the ‘Blades converted a two-on-one chance early in the second period to take a 1-0 lead. Brendan O’Donnell took off towards the Toledo end of the ice. O’Donnell brought the puck into the zone before saucering it across to Harris. Harris immediately sent his shot into the open net.
Florida doubled its lead less than three minutes later, as Dalton Smith took advantage of a turnover behind the Walleye net to give the Everblades a 2-0 lead. Battling behind the Toledo net, Zack Kamrass managed to force the puck off the stick of a Toledo defensemen. Kamrass shoveled it back towards the front of goal at the right side crease. Smith caught up to the puck and batted his shot into the net.
Toledo cut the Florida lead in half just 19-seconds into their first power play chance of the second period. Controlling the puck in the offensive zone, Tylor Spink sent the puck up high to Matt Caito who bounced the puck off the body of Anthony Peters. The rebound ended up in the slot and was then turned home by J.P. LaFontaine.
In an almost instant replay of the Everblades second goal, Toledo took advantage of a turnover behind the ‘Blades net to tie the game up at 2-2 midway through the second period. Forcing the puck loose behind the Florida net, Zach Nastasiuk managed to reach the loose puck first and turn it towards the front of goal. Dane Walters skated right to the front door before wristing his shot into the net.
The Walleye took their first lead of the contest just over 14 minutes into the second period. Toledo managed to force another turnover inside the Florida zone. Keeping the ‘Blades from clearing the puck, Matt Caito brought the puck down along the wing. Caito fired a wrist shot through the five hole and into the back of the net.
The Everblades stunted Toledo’s growing momentum as John McCarron scored off his own rebound. Bringing the puck in from the neutral zone, McCarron blasted a chance towards goal. Bouncing off the pads of Cal Heeter, the puck came right back to McCarron, who again fired a shot that beat Heeter for a goal.
In the third period, Toledo managed to once again convert on a power play chance, taking a 4-3 lead just over two minutes into the period. Shane Berschbach got the puck back to Justin Agosta who delivered a shot that tipped out in front by Dane Walters and turned behind Anthony Peters.
Midway through the final period, the Walleye extended their lead to two over the Everblades with a tipped puck right in front of the Florida goal. Bringing the puck deep into the Florida zone, J.P. LaFontaine sent a pass over to Charlie O’Connor who got just enough of the puck to tip it past a sliding Anthony Peters.
The Everblades did cut the Walleye’s lead in half late in the third period. After pulling the goaltender to earn a 5-on-4 chance, Mike Ferrantino buried a quick wrist shot from the low circle to give Florida a chance late in the contest.
Florida pulled the goaltender again and threw everything it had at Toledo late in the contest. The ‘Blades were continuously denied by Cal Heeter. Eventually forcing the puck out to center ice, Toledo’s Tyler Spink buried the empty net chance to give the Walleye a 6-4 win over the ‘Blades.
Cal Heeter made some big saves and had an overall good game in goal for Toledo, earning the win after stopping 28 of the 32 shots he faced. Anthony Peters also made his share of big saves throughout the contest but does suffer the loss after allowing five goals on 25 shots.
Playing their second of three straight games this weekend tomorrow night, the Everblades and Walleye will once again do battle at the Huntington Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 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 HERE. Fans can also watch the game online at ECHL.TVUpcoming 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###