Written by Robert Molnar
DULUTH, GA – Joe Cox scored twice while Martin Ouellette made 27 saves to lead the Florida Everblades (16-2-1-2, 35 pts) to a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Gladiators (10-8-1-1, 22 pts) Saturday night at the Infinite Energy Arena. The Everblades wrap up their six game road trip earning 10 of a possible 12 points.
Atlanta took an early 1-0 lead off a nice offensive zone effort from Rick Pinkston. Drawing the Everblades defense deep into their own zone, Pinkston managed to find a wide-open Darby Llewllyn alone in the high slot. Llewellyn wristed a quick shot past the blocker of ‘Blades goaltender Martin Ouellette and into the net.
Moments later, the Everblades took advantage of a four-on-three power play to tie the score up at 1-1. Peppering Atlanta with a number of shots, the numbers game eventually paid off for the ‘Blades. Forcing a number of rebounds, the ‘Blades eventually took advantage as Nelson Armstrong flipped his shot past a diving Matt O’Connor for the goal.
The Everblades jumped on top following another goal from a second chance opportunity. Despite a brilliant stop from Matt O’Connor to deny Joe Cox on the breakaway, the Gladiators failed to clear the puck. Clark Seymour sent a hard shot from the point off the stick of Joe Cox and past a still recovering O’Connor for the goal.
Atlanta would tied the game at 2-2 with two-seconds remaining in the second period. Going on the power play with just over 30-seconds remaining in the middle frame, Atlanta moved quickly. Cycling the puck around inside the attacking zone, Ben Danford gained possession at the point. Danford blasted the puck through traffic right past a completely screened Martin Ouellette.
Moving into the third period, the Everblades quickly jumped back on top, taking a 3-2 lead less than five minutes into the period. Controlling the puck inside the attacking zone, the ‘Blades began to up the pressure on Atlanta. Steven Lorentz sent a pass over to Joe Cox in the high slot. Joe Cox whipped a quick wrist shot into the back of the net.
The ‘Blades used a power play chance to full advantage as they took a 4-2 lead midway into the third period. Stephen MacAulay managed to find Michael Kirkpatrick alone at the left wing circle. Firing a wicked slap shot, Kirkpatrick sniped the puck past the glove of Matt O’Conner and high into the net.
Attempting to mount a late comeback, the Gladiators were denied at every turn by Martin Ouellette. Making numerous outstanding saves over the remaining part of the third period, Ouellette helped seal the 4-2 victory for the ‘Blades.
Martin Ouellette was absolutely outstanding in goal for the Everblades, earning the win after stopping 27 of the 28 shots he faced. Matt O’Connor also played well in goal for Atlanta but suffers the loss after allowing four goals on 27 shots.
Returning home to Germain Arena, the Florida Everblades will take on the in-state rival Jacksonville Icemen next Friday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 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 at www.ticketmaster.com
Upcoming Home Games
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, 7:00 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!
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###