Written by Robert Molnar
JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Florida Everblades (11-2-0-1, 23 pts) used six different goal scorers to smash their way to 6-3 victory over the in-state rival Jacksonville Icemen (2-7-1-0, 5 pts) Friday night at the Veterans Memorial Arena.
The Icemen took the game’s opening advantage off of a great attacking zone effort from Emerson Clark. Clark was shoved behind the net. Circling around, Clark backhanded the puck towards the front of goal where it hit off the body of Alexandre Goulet and deflected past Everblades goaltender Callum Booth.
The ‘Blades tied the score at 1-1 with just 50-seconds remaining in the first period as Mitchell Heard smashed home a rebound opportunity from the top of the crease. Nolan LaPorte ripped a quick shot on goal that was initially stopped by Icemen goaltender Jamie Phillips. However, the rebound took the puck right to the stick of Heard who promptly buried it into the net.
Taking their first lead of the game, the ‘Blades cashed in on their first power play chance of the game midway through the second period to take a 2-1 lead. Michael Kirkpatrick got the puck at the point before sending a pass diagonally across to a waiting Josiah Didier at the right wing circle. Batting at the puck, Didier angled his high shot into the top corner of the net.
With less than three-minutes remaining in the middle frame, the Everblades took a 3-1 lead thanks to a strong solo effort from Justin Kea. Moving quickly into the attacking zone, Kea brought the puck in along the boards. Kea moved right towards the front of Jacksonville’s goal before snapping a quick shot over the shoulder of Jamie Phillips.
The ‘Blades opened the third period on the power play and took advantage to take a commanding 4-1 lead just 1:01 into the final frame. Setting up shop in the Jacksonville zone, Gus Young sent a pass over to Michael Kirkpatrick at the left wing circle. Kirkpatrick stepped into his shot and rocketed the puck past Jamie Phillips and into the back of the net.
Despite the three-goal deficit, the Icemen did not go away quietly. Intercepting a pass at center ice, Cameron Critchlow capitalized on a breakaway opportunity to cut the ‘Blades lead to 4-2. Cutting off a Mitchell Heard pass, Critchlow broke into the attacking zone down the left wing side and flipped over the glove of Callum Booth and into the net.
The Icemen cut the ‘Blades lead in half midway through the third period as Jan Kostalek buried a point blank chance to make the score 4-3. Jimmy Lodge sent a centering feed across to Kostalek. Alone in the low slot, Kostalek fired his point blank chance into the net.
However the one-goal game would last just 45-seconds as John McCarron scored on an absolutely beautiful play in front of the Jacksonville net to give the ‘Blades a 5-3 lead. McCarron broke into toward the net, deked twice before moving to the backhand. Lifting his shot, McCarron buried his shot past a diving Jamie Phillips.
With Jacksonville’s momentum broken, the Everblades took full control of the game. Even with the extra attacker late in the period, the Icemen could not find a way to beat the ‘Blades. Finishing off the night, Nolan LaPorte scored an empty net goal late in the final period to give the ‘Blades a 6-3 win.
Callum Booth made some key saves in goal for the Everblades and does earn the win after stopping 13 of the 16 shots he faced. Jamie Phillips who also made some good saves throughout, suffers the loss in goal for Jacksonville after allowing five goals on 27 shots.
Returning home tomorrow night, the Florida Everblades will host the rival Jacksonville Icemen for Marvel Superheroes night at Germain Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets for the contest can be purchased at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online atwww.ticketmaster.com
Saturday, November 18, vs. Jacksonville, 7:00 p.m. Marvel Super Hero Night™ takes place as the Everblades will wear Hulk jerseys while Jacksonville will wear Thor jerseys. Both Hulk and Thor will also be in attendance!
Friday, December 8, vs. Jacksonville, 7:30 p.m. Kids eat free in the Breakaway Sports Pub with the purchase of an adult entree.
Saturday, December 9, vs. Jacksonville, 7:30 p.m. The Annual IBERIABANK Teddy Bear Toss! It is one of the biggest games of the season. Fans are encouraged to bring a new teddy bear or stuffed animal to the game to throw out onto the ice when the Everblades score their first goal. All of the teddy bears will be rounded up and distributed to local children's charities for the holidays!Ticket Information
Purchase Single Game Tickets at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or online via Ticketmaster by CLICKING HERE
2017-18 Ticket Packages are Currently on Sale! We offer full season and flexible partial plans that will best fit your schedule and budget! To view pricing and benefits of all available ticket packages CLICK HERE
SPECIAL OFFER! Purchase a new ticket package for the 2017-18 season and receive a $20 gift card to Ford's Garage!
Discounted Group Tickets: Bring your group of 10 or more to a game at a discounted price! Group tickets are available for all home games. Fundraising opportunities are also available. For more information on group tickets, call 239-948-7825, or stop by the Everblades offices at Germain Arena Monday thru Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes###