Written by Keaton Hanley
ESTERO, FL – Stephen MacAulay scored twice while Callum Booth made 35 saves to propel the Florida Everblades (44-13-2-4, 94 pts) to a 7-2 victory over the Norfolk Admirals Wednesday night at Germain Arena.
The Blades were buzzing in the Admirals end early were able to get on the board early just 3:15 into the game. Scoring the goal for the Blades was Justin Kea off of a rebound of a Matt Berry shot that Ty Reichenbach was unable to find. However, Kea was able to locate the puck as he curled and wristed it into the corner of the net past the glove of Reichenbach.
The Admirals answered with a goal of their own at 13:33 while shorthanded. Patrick D’Amico got the puck on net and a rebound bounced off lightly off Callum Booth’s pads to Domenic Alberga who was able to get to the crease to put home the rebound.
The Blades regained their lead late in the period with a skillful showing of passing as they entered the Admirals end. Joe Cox sent a pass on the backhand to Mitchell Heard at the top of the circle who quickly sent a no look backhanded pass through two Norfolk defender’s legs to connect with Stephen MacAulay. MacAulay labeled a shot for the left side above the blocker of Reichenbach to give Florida the 2-1 lead at the first intermission.
Derek Sheppard extended the Blades lead at 2:55 into the period while on the power play with a shot along the ice that found its way through traffic and thumped into the back of the net. For Sheppard it was his first professional goal, coming just four games in his young career.
The Blades continued to pile it on scoring 1:08 later, as Mitchell Heard dangled out his man and dropped a pass to Stephen MacAulay for his second of the night with a wrist shot that beat Reichenbach to put the score at 4-1.
The Blades weren’t done as Heard buried another to make it 5-1 Florida while the two teams were playing four aside at 7:14 of the middle period.
That goal drew the end of the night for Ty Reichenbach as he allowed five goals on 20 shots. Jamie Murray came in taking Reichenbach’s place between the pipes.
Moments later, Derek Sheppard added to his stellar performance for the Blades as Booth was run over by Darik Angeli, causing a scrum in the Blades end of the ice. Right as things seemed to be calming down Zane Schartz dropped the gloves with Sheppard. Sheppard made quick work of Schartz with a few quick rights that sent him off the ice for repairs.
The Admirals climbed back within three at 13:54 of the second as the Blades had a defensive lapse behind they’re net. Florida turned the puck over to Sam Ftorek who slid it to Grant Besse. Beese curled at the slot and whipped a shot by Booth’s glove for the goal.
Florida reclaimed a four-goal lead once again at 14:36 of the second when the Admirals had a defensive lapse of their own as they turned it over at the point to John McCarron. McCarron sent a pass down low to Kea who gave the puck to Berry all alone in the slot and then took the puck down low and went to his backhand elevating it over Jamie Murray to make it 6-2.
The Everblades continued their shooting gallery in the third, scoring again in the first three minutes of the period when Michael Kirkpatrick found Matt Mackenzie streaking into the slot. Mackenzie took the puck on his backhand a nonchalantly threw it on net clinking it off the post to the back of the net to make it a 7-2 Blades lead.
Game Notes and Roster Moves: Mitchell Heard extended his team best ten-game point streak adding another three points (1g, 2a). Heard now has 20 points during this ten-game stretch. Callum Booth in his return from AHL Charlotte, picked up his 17th win of the season as he brick walled 35 of the 37 shots fired his way in a stellar athletic performance for the rookie goaltender…Michael Kirkpatrick returned to the Everblades on Wednesday on loan from the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters…in and additional move, Defenseman Zack Kamrass was loaned to the Charlotte of the AHL.
The Everblades and Admirals will meet again on Friday at Germain Arena beginning at 7:30 p.m. Promotional details for this weekend’s games are provided below.Upcoming Home Games & EventsFriday, March 23, vs. Norfolk, 7:30 p.m. Friday is Arthrex Night! Kids eat free in the Breakaway Sports Pub with the purchase of an adult entree. Fans can enjoy bottomless all-you-can-eat popcorn all night long!
Saturday, March 24, vs. Norfolk, 7:00 p.m. Wendy's Dave Thomas Foundation Night.The first 500 kids aged 12 and under will receive an Everblades jersey courtesy of Wendy's! Pregame tailgate from 5-7 p.m. featuring live music and bounces houses fr the kids!
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###