Kevin Bires Photography
By Keaton Hanley
ESTERO, FL -- On a night of fuzzy celebration in the annual IBEARIABANK Teddy Bear Toss. the Florida Everblades (18-2-1-2) defeated the Jacksonville Icemen in the shootout by a score of 3-2 in front of a sold-out crowd announced at 7,554 at Germain Arena Saturday night.
With the ‘Blades on fire someone might have to find another bear, “Smokey”, as the red-hot Blades are unbeaten in regulation through their last twelve games (10-0-1-1).
The ‘Blades found themselves on the power play for the second time in the first ten minutes of the game. With just one second remaining on that opportunity, they were finally able to find the back of the net after failing to score on their last seven power play chances, sending the arena into a frenzy at 8:47 into the first period of play. Clark Seymour took a shot from the point that ricocheted off the boards to Mitchell Heard who was right on the goal line. Heard put the puck on net, and it sat in the crease just long enough for Quinten Shore to jam it home and send over 8,000 teddy bears flying onto the ice.
The Icemen answered back late in the period, with 2:13 to go when Christopher Dienes powered a shot from the top of the point that found its way through traffic and into the top shelf of the net before Ouellette could get an eye on it, as Jacksonville tied the game at one.
At 3:05 of the second, the Icemen took the lead on a four-on-four goal on a rush into the zone. Everett Clark dropped the puck back to Elgin Pearce in the slot who quickly wrangled in the puck and ripped it past Ouellette’s glove hand, making it 2-1 early in the second.
The ‘Blades tied it up at 12:31 despite coming off an icing call after a long shift. Justin Kea recieved the puck out of the Blades zone with a nice move and into the zone on a 3-on-2 rush. Kea sent the puck to Bulmer on the right wing boards who blasted it on net, but Kea was there to clean up the rebound and swooped it into the net for the goal.
Tied once again at the end of the period, the game headed to the all-important third period of play to deicide the winner. However, with neither team able to score in third, the teams continued to a 3-on-3 overtime. With no score again in the five-minute overtime period, the game entered the shootout.
Both goalies fought off the first three shots and the shootout went into a fourth round of the shootout.
Martin Ouellette was able to stop Jimmy Lodge on the Icemen’s fourth shot, and the game was put on the stick of Stephen MacAulay and he delivered. MacAulay skated down the middle of the ice before making a quick forehand-to-backhand-to-forehand move as he opened up Lotz’s five-hole for the game clincher, giving the Blades a 3-2 win in the shootout.
Ouellette was once again Stellar in net, making 30 saves, while stopping all four shots faced in the shootout. Lotz played well, but takes the loss stopping 23 of 25 shots faced.
Florida opens a three-game home set on Wednesday against rival South Carolina. Promotional details of next week’s games are listed below.
Upcoming Home Games
Wednesday, December 13, vs. South Carolina, 7:30 p.m. $2 Wednesday! Fans can enjoy $2 beers, wine and hot dogs all night long! College students receive a $5 ticket with valid college ID. There will also be a postgame skate with the Everblades players as well as Santa!
Friday, December 15, vs. South Carolina, 7:30 p.m. Kids eat free in the Breakaway Sports Pub with the purchase of an adult entree.
Saturday, December 16, vs. South Carolina, 7:00 p.m. Star Wars Night! The first 1,000 fans receive a FREE lightsaber. Star Wars characters will be in the concourse and available for photos. Santa will also be in attendance!
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! Flexible partial plans are available. These packages 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###