ORLANDO, FL – Joe Perry scored twice to help lead the Orlando Solar Bears to a 5-3 victory over the Florida Everblades in Game 4 of the South Division Finals Friday night at the Amway Center. Florida now leads the best-of-seven series 3-1. The loss snaps a 17-game win streak for the Everblades dating back to the regular season. The last time the Everblades lost a game was on March 17, in an 8-5 loss to Orlando at Germain Arena.
The Solar Bears bit back early in the contest on a tally from Chris Leblanc at 5:17. Martins Dzierkals skated below the right wing circle and centered a pass to Leblanc in the slot. Leblanc wristed a shot low that beat Florida goaltender Callum Booth for the tally.
The Everblades eventually countered late in the opening frame following a scramble in front of the Orlando net. Justin Kea backhanded a shot from the slot that was stopped by Orlando netminder Mackenzie Skapski. The rebound bounced to the right side of the crease to Brett Bulmer who attempted a shot, but it too was stopped by Skapski. However, the puck then rebounded to Matt Berry at the circle, and Berry delivered a wrister into the net for the goal.
The Everblades grabbed the lead in the second period on a power play goal from Dave Dziurzynski who picked up rebound from a Mitchell Heard shot and flipped it over an outstretched Skapski for the marker.
The Solar Bears tied the game at 13:52 after Perry picked the pocket of Florida forward Mitchell Heard at the Florida blue line. Perry claimed possession of the puck and took off on a breakaway chance. Perry skated alone and flipped a backhand shot past Booth for the tying tally.
Orlando took the lead five minutes later on the power play. Hunter Fejes delivered a cross-crease pass that was angled high into the net by Max Novak to give the Solar Bears the 3-2 edge after two periods of play.
The Bears built on their lead at 12:26 of the third period when Fejes led a 2-on-1 rush with Dzierkals. Fejes delivered a pass across to Dzierkals who skated from the wing to the top of the crease and swung a backhander past Booth to put the score at 4-2.
Two minutes later, the Everblades attempted to mount a comeback bid when Spencer Smallman picked up the rebound from a Sam Warning shot and clipped the puck past Skapski to pull Florida within one.
Orlando’s Joe Perry tacked on an empty-netter with 26 seconds remaining to secure the 5-3 win. The closing seconds featured a couple of scraps and physicality between both teams, to spur the rivalry on more heading into Sunday’s contest.
Game 5 will take place on Sunday at the Amway Center beginning at 1:30 p.m. Fans can tune into the game on 99.3 FM ESPN, or online by CLICKING HERE.
Game 5 Watch Party: There will be a game watch party for Sunday’s Game 5 at the Breakaway Sports Pub located at Germain Arena. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m.
2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs Schedule - South Division FinalsBest-of-Seven Series (Florida leads 3-1)
Game 1: Friday, April 27, Orlando - 1 at FLORIDA - 4Game 2: Saturday, April 28, Orlando - 1 at FLORIDA - 5Game 3: Thursday, May 3. FLORIDA - 5 at Orlando - 1Game 4: Friday, May 4, Florida - 3 at ORLANDO - 5Game 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###