ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland — Mitch Vandergunst tallied the game-winning goal and Jamie Phillips made 25 saves to help propel the Florida Everblades past the Newfoundland Growlers, 3-2, for their first regular season win on Saturday night at Mile One Centre.
The Everblades (1-1-0, 2 PTS) had the lone goal in third period to break a 2-2 tie with the Growlers (1-1-0, 2 PTS) en route to a split of the weekend.
With the game tied at two halfway through the third period, Vandergunst provided the game-winning goal on a turnover. Grant Arnold and Zach Nastasiuk tied up a Growlers player below the goal crease. Vandergunst picked up the puck and shot it high past Newfoundland goaltender Michael Garteig to make it 3-2 with 14:27 left in regulation.
The first lead for the ‘Blades of the young season was provided by Steven Lorentz. On a power play, Lorentz shot through traffic as the goalie was screened from the top of the circle. The lone power-play goal was scored at the 9:41 mark of the second period.
The Growlers opened the scoring in the first period as Giorgio Estephan found the back of the net. An odd-man rush by the Growlers forced a ‘Blades player to dive on the ice to block a pass, resulting in the puck being tipped into the net.
The ‘Blades answered to tie the game at one on a goal from Kyle Platzer. Platzer had a slick deke move around the netminder early in the seond period. Platzer has two goals in two games to start his Everblades career.
With 3:04 left in the second, the Growlers tied up the contest as Sam Babinstev scored to give each team two goals. Babintsev put back his own rebound as the ‘Blades couldn’t get the puck away from the net.
Garteig made 38 saves in the game for Newfoundland and suffered the loss. Phillips stopped 25 out of 27 shots to earn the win in his ‘Blades regular season debut.
The win gives ‘Blades Head Coach Brad Ralph his 100th win as the coach of the Everblades.
The ‘Blades return home to newly named Hertz Arena as they host the Norfolk Admirals on October 19th at 7:30 P.M.
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