ESTERO, FL – Brett Bulmer scored twice, while the Everblades posted three power goals to the defeat the Greenville Swamp Rabbits 5-3 at Germain Arena Friday night. Florida wins its fifth straight game and maintains a five-point South Division lead.
The Swamp Rabbits took the first lead of the game with a power play goal at 4:04 of the first period. Matt Prapavessis was given room up high to wind up a blast a shot through traffic that beat Callum Booth on the glove side to make it a 1-0 Swamp Rabbits game.
The Blades had their fair share of chances on two power plays at the end of the period, but they were unable to convert and carried 1:18 of power play time into the intermission. After one period of play, the Swamp Rabbits held a 1-0 lead over the Blades.
Halfway through the second, Derek Sheppard received a pass from Michael Kirkpatrick and blasted a shot that Bulmer got enough of to redirect it between the five-hole of Ty Rimmer. The power play goal was the Swamp Rabbits first allowed in 17 penalty box prior.
Mitchell Heard grabbed the Blades their first lead of the game with 4:27 to go in the second period. Stephen MacAulay won the faceoff in the Greenville end back to Matt Mackenzie who quickly sent it down to Heard who was speeding towards the slot. Heard turned he fired the puck and beat Rimmer just over his right pad to give the Blades the 2-1 lead.
The Blades went into the second intermission with a 2-1 lead, while dominating in shots-for outshooting the Swamp Rabbits 32-14.
The Blades added another power play goal at 11:30 of the third courtesy Bulmer again. After the Blades were able to set up a zone presence, Derek Sheppard found Bulmer in the slot primed for a wrist shot that beat Rimmer on his glove side.
The Swamp Rabbits brought themselves back within one at 14:23 of the third period on a rush by Wade Murphy and Matt Johnson. Johnson brought the puck in along the left side dasher and sped around his man before whipping the puck on net. Murphy redirected the puck on his backhand over the blocker of Booth to make it a 3-2 game late.
Nearly a minute later, Greenville shot themselves in the foot as they took an offensive zone high-sticking penalty giving the Blades a power play that they inevitably scored on. Joe Cox put the Blades third power play goal of the night home from his knees he cleaned up Matt Berry’s initial attempt.
The Blades picked up a penalty of their own while the Swamp Rabbits were pressuring in their end with 2:15 to play. Greenville used their timeout and pulled Rimmer for the extra attacker. The Swamp Rabbits scored just 36 seconds into the power play as a shot from Sean Flanagan banked off of Booth’s toe of his pad to Evan Jasper who had a wide-open net to shoot at for the tally.
The Swamp Rabbits pulled Rimmer a second time; the Blades fought for the puck in the neutral zone and John McCarron turned and hit a fade away from right outside the Blades blue line with an empty-net dagger to give the Blades a two-goal lead once again. The empty netter sealed the victory for the Blades as they closed out the game by a 5-3 score.
GAME NOTES: Matt Berry extended his point streak to seven games as he added an assist. Brett Bulmer hit the 20-goal mark with his two goals; in doing so the Blades now have five 20+ goal scorers. The Everblades close out the eight-game homestand on Saturday against Atlanta at 7:00 p.m. Promotional details listed below.Upcoming Home Games & EventsSaturday, March 31, vs. Atlanta, 7:00 p.m. Bring your dog to the game for just $10, for Pucks & Paws Night presented by Shoppes of Estero Animal Hospital! A portion of the dog fee will be donated to local animal causes. Fans can also purchase discounted fundraising tickets for $15, with $5 of each ticket purchased being donated to the Gulf Coast Humane Society, CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE. The night is also Princess & Pirates night! Postgame Jersey auction featuring the Harley-Davidson warm-up jerseys with the proceeds benefiting Make-A-Wish Southern Florida.
Purchase Single Game Tickets at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or online via Ticketmaster by CLICKING HERE
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
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###