Photo courtesy of Gary McCullough
Written by Robert Molnar
JACKSONVILLE, FL – Matt Mackenzie scored the game-winning goal with less than three-minutes remaining in regulation to lead the Florida Everblades (41-12-2-4, 88 pts) to a 3-2 victory over the rival Jacksonville Icemen (22-31-4-3, 51 pts) Saturday night at the Veterans Memorial Arena. With the win, the Florida Everblades maintain their five-point lead in the South Division standings.
Tim Daly put Jacksonville up 1-0 midway through the first period. Playing four-on-four, Daly received a pass from Justin Woods. Daly moved around an Everblades’ defenseman and fought his way towards the front of goal before snapping a shot past Everblades goaltender Martin Ouellette.
Matt Berry tied the game at 1-1 for the ‘Blades, scoring just over three minutes into the second period. Berry moved into the slot and made a nice move in front of the goal and got Jacksonville goaltender Austin Lotz off balance before ripping his shot into the net.
Kyle Neuber then gave the ‘Blades their first lead of the game midway through the middle frame. Mitchell Heard brought the puck down the left wing side on a 2-on-1. Firing a pass right across the face of goal, Heard found a wide open Kyle Neuber who wasted no time sniping his close range chance into the net.
The Icemen tied the game at 2-2 midway through the third period. Kyle Bigos sent the puck off the skate of teammate Bobby MacIntyre and into the net. However, the goal would not come without controversy as the Everblades players and coaching staff would protest the goal due to the fact that it appeared to be intentionally kicked into the net by MacIntyre.
Despite the goal, the Everblades would not be denied the victory. Florida received a power play with less than five-minutes remaining in the game. Matt Mackenzie took full advantage as he scored on a long range effort to put the ‘Blades up 3-2. Receiving a pass from Steven Lorentz at the blue line, Mackenzie rocketed a shot that bounced off the body of Austin Lotz and flipped right into the back of the net.
While the Icemen did see more than a few scoring chances over the final minutes of the contest, the ‘Blades defense held firm. Keeping Jacksonville off the scoreboard, the ‘Blades bring home the 3-2 win.
Martin Ouellette was strong in goal for the Everblades and earns the win after stopping 27 of the 29 shots he faced. Austin Lotz suffers the loss in goal for the Icemen after allowing three goals on 16 shots.
The Florida Everblades will now conclude their road trip this Thursday night as they head to the Amway Center to take on the Wawa Sunshine Cup rival Orlando Solar Bears. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Fans can catch the game broadcast on WJBX News, Talk & More on 101.5-FM.104.3-FM, 770-AM or by CLICKING HERE. Fans can also watch the game online at ECHL.TV
Upcoming Home Games & EventsMonday, March 12, Full Team Event at Il Primo Pizza & Wings, 6:00-7:00 p.m. The full Everblades team will be on hand signing autographs and will be available for photos. The Guns 'N Hoses jersey design will also be unveiled. So join us for good times and great food at Il Primo Pizza & Wings, located at 13401 Summerlin Road, #110, Fort Myers, FL 33919.
Friday, March 16, vs. Orlando, 7:30 p.m. Kids eat free in the Breakaway Sports Pubwith the purchase of an adult entree! Fans can also enjoy bottomless all-you-can-eat popcorn from the concession stands all night long!
Saturday, March 17, vs. Orlando, 7:00 p.m. Annual Guns 'n Hoses game! The team will wear special police and fire fighter themed jerseys that will be auctioned off following the game to benefit MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association). In addition, local police and fire fighters will do battle on the ice beginning at 4:15 p.m.
Try Goalie Day also takes place on March 17 from 12;30-2:30 p.m. on the main rink at Germain Arena. This FREE event is open to youth hockey players aged 5-13 interested in the opportunity to try playing goalie. Everblades Goaltending Coach Josh Robinson in conjunction with Phil Osaer with USA Hockey will be hosting the event for interested youth players to have fun and give the goalie position a try. Goalie equipment will be provided, but interested players should bring their own hockey equipment and skates.
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###