Written by Keaton Hanley
ESTERO, FL – Martin Ouellette stopped all 19 shots faced to earn his second shutout of the season and propel the Florida Everblades (33-9-1-4, 71 pts) to a 4-0 victory over the Allen Americans Friday night at Germain Arena.
Stephen MacAulay got the Blades on the board first with his team leading 21st goal of the season just 3:46 into the first period. The Blades were able to establish a zone presence in the Allen end and traversed with the puck behind the net. Allen goaltender Jeremy Brodeur got his stick tangled up and lost it in the corner. MacAulay was stationed in the slot and received a pass from Joe Cox and wired it past the blocker side of Brodeur for the score.
After a back and forth physical period that even featured a scrap between Florida's Kyle Neuber and Allen's Mike Gunn, the Blades found themselves on top 1-0 with the early tally from MacAulay.
The Blades extended their lead 56 seconds into the second period while on the power play that carried over from the end of the first period. Mitchell Heard got a shot off on Brodeur’s blocker side that appeared to be on its way in before Brodeur blockered it away, but he was unable to control the rebound and it rolled back to the stick of Heard for the easy tap in goal that gave the Blades a 2-0 lead.
Martin Ouellette kept the Blades up with a two goal lead while on the penalty kill as he absolutely robbed a cross crease opportunity for the Americans and followed it up with a series of saves on the rebound chances.
The Americans thought they had gotten on the board with 2:50 to go in the period, but due to the puck being knocked by Colby McAuley’s hand, the goal was quickly waived off by the referee Liam Sewell. With the goal being washed off the board, the Blades took their 2-0 lead into the second intermission.
Joe Cox added to the Florida lead with his 15th goal of the season on a rebound off of a Matt Mackenzie shot. Cox managed to corral and whip the puck into the net to give the Blades a 3-0 lead about six minutes into the third period.
The Americans had another goal waived off soon after Cox’s goal as they interfered with Ouellette behind the net and fired the puck into an empty net, and yet again referee Liam Sewell waived off the goal.
The Americans, in a pure move of desperation, pulled their goalie with 7:19 remaining in the game as they trailed by three goals and were on their eighth power play of the game to create a 6-on-4 advantage. However, Florida’s penalty kill did its job and to go a perfect 8-for-8 on the night.
The Blades weren’t quite done yet, as Brett Bulmer was able to bury a rebound from a Keegan Kanzig shot with just 3:33 left to cap off the 4-0 win.
Ouellette stopped all 19 shots for his second shutout of the season, and his ninth of the pro career. Brodeur takes the loss allowing four goals on 33 shots faced in the game.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Full promotional details listed below. Fans unable to attend the game, may catch it on 99.3 FM ESPN Radio, or online by CLICKING HERE
Upcoming Home Games
Saturday, February 10, vs. Allen, 7:00 p.m. Pink in the Rink, presented by Radiology Regional Center continues as the team will wear the special pink jerseys. The jerseys will be auctioned off following the game to benefit local cancer charities. The first 2,000 fans will receive a chip clip courtesy of Radiology Regional Center! Also from 5-7 p.m., join us for the pregame tailgate party featuring live music and bounces houses for the kids! The Stella Artois Airstream tasting trailer will also be on hand!
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###