NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – Brett Bulmer scored the game-winning goal with 54-seconds remaining in overtime to propel the Florida Everblades (50-13-2-4, 106 pts) to a 4-3 victory over the rival South Carolina Stingrays (45-16-7-1, 98 pts) Tuesday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. With the result, the Florida Everblades officially clinched the 2017-18 South Division title. It marks the first time in team history that the ‘Blades have won division titles in back-to-back seasons, and their third division title in the last four seasons.
Michael Kirkpatrick gave the ‘Blades a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. Mitchell Heard received a pass from Stephen MacAulay before firing a shot towards goal. Deflecting off of Kirkpatrick’s stick, the puck headed low past the outstretched pad of South Carolina goaltender Jeff Jakaitis.
The lead did not last long however, as Mason Mitchell converted on the power play for South Carolina, tying the score at 1-1. Mitchell was left alone right in front of the ‘Blades net. Following a shot from Dylan Margonari, Mitchell directed the puck right past a sliding Martin Ouellette.
John McCarron would give the Everblades a 2-1 lead late on in the opening frame. Bringing the puck to the top of the left wing circle, McCarron fired a shot that clipped off the shoulder of Jeff Jakaitis before twirling its way into the back of the net.
Midway through the second period, Jake Kamrass batted home a close range effort to tie the game at 2-2. Once again taking advantage of a power play opportunity, the Stingrays put the extra man to good use. While an initial shot from Joe Devin would be stopped, an open Jake Kamrass quickly batted the rebound into the exposed net.
With the score tied at 2-2, the game would undergo and major controversial moment. Getting tangled up with Jeff Jakaitis, Joe Cox was called for incidental goaltender interference despite the fact that Jakaitis had plenty of time to recover before Clark Seymour put his shot into the back of the net. Following the no goal call, the ‘Blades would end up shorthanded due to an unsportsmanlike penalty called against the team’s bench.
Following the penalty call, the Stingrays would need just seconds to capitalize and score their third power play strike of the night. After a faceoff win, South Carolina got the puck over to Jonathan Charbonneau. Winding up and blasting a shot from the left wing circle, Charbonneau rifled the puck past Martin Ouellette and into the net.
The ‘Blades would quickly fight back early in the third period as Kyle Neuber batted his chance home to tie the score at 3-3. Collecting a pass behind the net, Neuber fed Logan Roe in the slot who quickly fired a shot on goal. While the shot from Roe would be stopped, Neuber did not give up on the play as he managed to just shove the rebound across the goal line and into the net.
Ending the third period without another goal being scored by either side, the game would proceed to overtime. Because of this result and collecting a single point, the Florida Everblades would officially clinch the South Division title, their sixth division title in team history.
However, there was still more work that needed to be done. Following an amazing stop from Martin Ouellette, the Everblades turned defense into offense. Gus Young led Brett Bulmer with a pass to set up a breakaway chance. Bulmer netted the game-winning goal, lifting his shot over the glove of Jeff Jakaitis to lead the ‘Blades to a major 4-3 victory over the rival Stingrays.
Martin Ouellette played extremely well in goal for the ‘Blades, earning the win after stopping 21 of the 24 shots he faced. Jeff Jakaitis suffers the overtime loss in goal for the Stingrays as he allowed four goals on 30 shots.
The Florida Everblades will now head to the Veterans Memorial Arena to take on the rival Jacksonville Icemen Thursday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
With a win on Thursday night, the Florida Everblades can clinch the Brabham Cup, given to the ECHL team with the best regular season record, for a third time in team history. 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.TVUpcoming Home Games & EventsSaturday, April 7, vs. Jacksonville, 7:00 p.m. Join us for the final home game of the regular season!. The game is Fan Appreciation Night as well as Blackout Night presented by the Passion Foundation. The team will wear special black jerseys that will be auctioned off following the game! There will also be a team award ceremony prior to the start of the game. Fans will also receive a coupon voucher for free product at Wawa! There will also be a team photo giveaway!
Ticket InformationTicket & Playoff 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
Purchase Single Game Tickets at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or online via Ticketmaster by CLICKING 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###