ESTERO, Fla. — Josh Wesley and Joe Cox scored 19 seconds apart in the final four minutes of regulation to send the Florida Everblades past the Jacksonville Icemen, 4-2, on Friday night at Hertz Arena.
In the third meeting between the two teams in the last eight days, Florida (4-3-2-0, 10 pts.) scored three goals in a 1:59 span, which included an empty-net goal by Steven Lorentz, to beat Jacksonville (7-3-0-0, 14 pts.) for the second time in that three-game stretch.
Trailing 2-1 with less than four minutes to play, the ‘Blades won an offensive zone faceoff via Nathan Perkovich to set up Wesley’s goal, which came on the power play. Perkovich tapped it off to Adam Gilmour and Gilmour slid it to Wesley at the right point for the ensuing slap shot that beat Jacksonville goaltender Tanner Jaillet under the blocker.
Cox then catapulted Florida ahead in the moments following with his fourth goal of the season. Lorentz started a 2-on-1 rush for the Everblades and slid the puck to Cox in the right circle while racing down the left wing. After the puck was partially tipped, Cox collected it in stride and lifted it past Jaillet to make it a 3-2 lead.
Lorentz sealed the win with his third goal of the season, an empty-net tally with 1:26 left in the game.
Jacksonville struck for the game’s first goal at the 13:03 mark of the first period, the only goal before the third period. Dan DeSalvo zipped a shot from the left wing that snuck past Everblades goaltender Jamie Phillips.
The ‘Blades finally pulled even more than 30 minutes later on the first of their two power-play goals in the game. After Gilmour battled to keep the puck in the offensive zone, he dished it to Perkovich in the right circle. Perkovich then gave the puck right back to Gilmour at the near post, and he fired it past Jaillet to make it a 1-1 game.
Jacksonville took the lead for the second time thanks to a shorthanded goal from Tyson Fawcett with 7:34 to play in the game, giving the Icemen a 2-1 advantage.
Phillips earned his second consecutive victory with 27 saves and has not allowed more than two goals in any of his five starts. Jaillet finished with 34 saves in the loss.
Florida aims for the series sweep of Jacksonville on Saturday night. Faceoff is slated for 7 p.m. for Military Night. The ‘Blades will wear special camouflage jerseys that will be auctioned off postgame to benefit the National Coalition for Patriots. Arrive early for a free pregame tailgate from 5-7 p.m. featuring live music from the Kate Skales Band.
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The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes