Photo: Kevin BiresWritten by Keaton Hanley
ESTERO, FL – Mitchell Heard scored twice, while Callum Booth made 31 saves to lead the Florida Everblades (20-4-1-2, 43 points) to a 3-2 victory over the Jacksonville Icemen on Wednesday night.
The first period was a good one for the Blades and their special teams units as they picked up a goal on the penalty kill and on the power play.
The ‘Blades got on the board first in unconventional fashion as they picked up their fourth shorthanded goal of the season. Mitchell Heard stole the puck at the blue line and was off to the races for a breakaway chance against Jacksonville goaltender Colton Phinney. Heard broke in toward the net with speed, and with a quick head fake accompanied by a backhand fake to the fourhanded, Heard wristed the puck past the blocker for the first goal of the game.
The Everblades received their second power play while in the middle of the four-on four-hockey, and they made quick work of the man advantage as Zack Kamrass set up Michael Kirkpatrick at the top of the circle to add to the lead with his team leading 13th goal after bulleting a shot under Phinney’s blocker to give the ‘Blades a 2-0 goal late.
Heard added his second goal at 14:42 of the second period after Brett Bulmer sent a no look pass off his backhand to Heard who wasted no time one-timing a shot into the back of the net to extend the lead to 3-0 before the end of the second period.
The Icemen got their first of the game off the stick of Tanner Eberle at 8:05 and an Icemen player got in the face of Brett Bulmer following the goal which escalated into a full-scale line brawl. Four separate altercations took place on the ice, while goaltender Colton Phinney skated the length of the ice to chat with Callum Booth. Booth declined the nod fight after taking a sucker punch from a Jacksonville skater just moments prior.
Following the fight, the ‘Blades end was littered with gloves, sticks, and helmets, and the total amount of penalty minutes accrued during the skirmish was 38 minutes between the two teams.
The Icemen were able to bring the game within one just a few minutes after failing to convert on the power play off a deflection in the slot from Elgin Pearce that found its way through Booth’s five-hole.Jacksonville hurt themselves late by taking a penalty with 2:39 left as newcomer Tim Daly took a high sticking penalty in the Florida end of the ice.
The penalty proved costly, as the Icemen had only 41 seconds to pull their goalie for the extra attacker and time ran out without the Icemen able to get another shot off on Booth, giving him his ninth win of the season, putting away 31 of the 33 shots fired his way in the 3-2 win.
The Everblades will enjoy the holiday break and get set for a December 27 affair at Atlanta.
Florida will return home on Saturday, December 30. Promotional details listed below.
Upcoming Home Games
Saturday, December 30, vs. Orlando, 7:00 p.m. First 3,000 fans will receive an Everblades Calendar courtesy of Bokamper’s.
Wednesday, January 3, vs. Orlando, 7:30 p.m. $2 Wednesday! $2 hot dogs, $2 beer and $2 wine all night long! College students receive a $5 ticket with valid college ID.
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###