Written by Keaton Hanley
ESTERO, FL – Sam Warning and Mitchell Heard each scored twice to propel the Florida Everblades to a 5-1 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears in Game 2 of the South Division Finals on Saturday night at Germain Arena. Florida now leads the best-of-seven series 2-0.
The Blades opened the scoring just 4:28 into the first period with a goal from Sam Warning. Gus Young sent a shot from the point that Sam Warning was able to get a piece of as it was hurdling towards the net. The redirection caught Cal Heeter and made it a 1-0 lead early for the Blades.
The Solar Bears answered back at 7:58 of the period with a goal from Chris LeBlanc. Right off of a faceoff, the puck came back to Sam Jardine who ripped a shot from the point that Leblanc was able to redirected in similar fashion to the Florida goal and the puck found its way through Ouellette’s five-hole to tie the game.
After an evenly contested and physical first period of play, the two teams entered the intermission tied 1-1.
The second period was a period of missed opportunities on the power play for the Blades. The Blades had four power plays in the period and were unable to convert on any of them, as both teams were held off the board in the second period to keep the score locked at 1-1 at the second break.
Less than one minute into the third period, Sam Warning’s second goal of the game gave the Everblades a 2-1 lead. Warning blazed down the left side of the ice and cranked up for a fake slapper at the circle before wristing a shot on the opposite side of the net past the glove of Cal Heeter.
The Everblades extended their lead while on the power play at 3:43 with Mitchell Heard’s first goal of the series. Heard received a saucer pass from Spencer Smallman at the point, and Heard whipped it through traffic to find the back of the net. The power play goal broke Orlando’s perfect penalty kill streak, after opening the playoffs a perfect 29-for-29.
Heard scored again on his next shift just two minutes later when Steven Lorentz sent him a pass that Heard worked through his legs between two defenders and sent him in on a breakaway opportunity. Heard waited out Heeter on the breakaway as he spread out along the ice and Heard tucked a backhander around the left pad to give the Blades a commanding 4-1 lead.
Dave Dziurzynski added a shorthanded tally at 13:27 of the third. John McCarron spring boarded Dziurzynski on a breakaway from all the way at the Blades blue line. Dziurzynski entered the zone and wristed a shot past the blocker of Heeter to make it a 5-1 game.
Things got physical late in the game with a pair of tussles from Brett Bulmer against Tayler Thompson and Gus Young against Hunter Fejes.
The four-goal explosion in the third from the Blades proved to be too much to handle as they closed out game two with a 5-1 victory.
Martin Ouellette only allowed one goal for the second straight night as he saved 26 of the 27 shots fired his way. Heeter takes the loss, allowing five goals on 35 shots faced.
The series now shifts to Orlando for Game 3 on Thursday (May 3) at the Amway Center. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
Game Watching Party for Games 3 & 4! There will be a game watching party at the Breakaway Sports Pub located at Germain Arena for Thursday’s Game 3 & Friday’s 4 of the series. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Come out and join fellow ‘Blades fans to cheer on the team while they are on the road!
2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs Schedule - South Division FinalsBest-of-Seven Series (Florida leads 2-0)
Game 1: Friday, April 27, Orlando - 1 at FLORIDA - 4Game 2: Saturday, April 28, Orlando - 1 at FLORIDA - 5Game 3: Thursday, May 3, Florida at Orlando, 7:00 p.m. (Amway Center)Game 4: Friday, May 4, Florida at Orlando, 7:00 p.m. (Amway Center)Game 5: Sunday, May 6, Florida at Orlando, 1:30 p.m. (Amway Center)**Game 6: Tuesday, May 8, Orlando at Florida, 7:30 p.m. (Germain Arena)** Game 7: Wednesday, May 9, Orlando at Florida, 7:30 p.m. (Germain Arena)**** If Necessary
2018-19 Ticket Packages are Currently on Sale! Full season as well as 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.
Purchase Single Game Playoff Tickets at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or online via Ticketmaster by CLICKING HERE
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes###