DULUTH, Ga. — The Florida Everblades (5-5-2-0, 12 pts.) open a two-game series with the Atlanta Gladiators (4-6-2-0, 10 pts.) on Saturday night at 7:35 p.m. at Infinite Energy Arena, the second straight matchup against a team they have yet to face this season.
Last Time Out
The Everblades squared off with South Carolina for the first time this year on Friday night and wound up on the short end of a defensive duel in a 1-0 loss to the Stingrays. Jeremy Helvig made 27 saves, but Stingrays captain Joey Leach provided the only offense, a power-play goal in the second period, and Adam Morrison and Gordon Defiel combined for 29 saves to shut out Florida.
Leading 3-2 entering the third period on Friday night, Atlanta yielded three goals in the final period in a 5-3 home loss to the Norfolk Admirals. Domenic Alberga netted a hat trick, including the last two goals of the game, to provide the margin of victory for the Admirals, which scored the final four goals of the game. Garrett Ross, Nolan LaPorte, and Alex Overhardt tallied for the Gladiators in the loss, while Miroslav Svoboda made a career-high 47 saves.
Players to Watch
Jamie Phillips (FLA) – The Caledonia, Ontario, native has yet to allow more than two goals in any of his six starts this season. In a 4-2 win last Friday against Jacksonville, Phillips made a season-high 27 saves. His defense has limited his shots faced to less than 30 in each appearance this year.
Miroslav Svoboda (SC) - Svoboda had his busiest night of the season to-date on Friday, facing 51 shots and making a season-high 47 saves. In his first season of pro hockey in the U.S., Svoboda has seen 30 shots or more in all but one of his appearances. He has twice made 40 or more saves.
- Saturday night marks the first of 11 meetings between Florida and Atlanta this season. The Everblades hold a 91-51-15 record in 157 previous meetings with the Gladiators and finished with a 10-0-0 regular season mark against Atlanta last season, including a 7-0-0 record at Infinite Energy Arena.
- After winning back to back games for the first time this season last weekend, the 'Blades have now lost back to back games for the first time this year.
- Helvig was regularly tested in the second period on Friday night as he made 15 saves on 16 shots in the middle frame. That save total is a new single-period high for an Everblades goaltender this season.
- Florida has won 13 straight regular season games in the all-time series with Atlanta dating back to the 2016-17 season. The Everblades' last loss to the Gladiators was a 3-2 shootout loss on Feb. 11, 2017, while the last regulation loss, a 3-2 decision, came on Dec. 17, 2016.
- In the recent series history in Atlanta, Florida has dominated the Gladiators, winning the last 21 games in Infinite Energy Arena, including two playoff games last year. The Everblades have not lost in Atlanta since a 4-2 loss on Oct. 23, 2015, the first meeting in Atlanta between the two teams in the 2015-16 season.
- The Everblades have surrendered two goals or fewer in each of their last four tilts and rank first in the ECHL in goals against per game (2.33). Florida has given up three goals or more in just four of its 12 games this season.
- In addition to allowing the fewest goals per game in the ECHL, the Everblades have yielded an ECHL-best 26.7 shots on goal per game. Florida has given up 30 shots or more in just three games this season. The 'Blades allowed just three shots on goal in the third period on Friday night against South Carolina, a team-low for one period this season.
- Jamie Phillips has yielded two goals or fewer in each of his six starts this season. He ranks second in the league in goals-against-average (1.84) and is tied for 10th in save percentage (.926). He permitted just two goals in Wednesday's matchup in Jacksonville.
- John McCarron had his team-high six-game point streak snapped on Friday night in the loss to South Carolina. The Macomb, Michigan, native posted nine points (3g, 6a) in the streak.
- Florida had its string of 11 straight successful penalty kills snapped when South Carolina scored on its third power play of the game on Friday. Despite that, the Everblades still rank fourth in the ECHL in penalty kill at 86.8 percent.
- The only Everblades player to register a multi-goal game this season, Joe Cox netted his second of the season last Saturday. He also had two goals in a 6-1 home win against Norfolk on Oct. 20. He had one multi-goal game last season in his rookie year, a two-goal night on Dec. 2, 2017, against Atlanta. The Michigan State University alumnus leads Florida in goals with six and had 22 last season.
- Florida had its season-long five-game point streak halted in Wednesday's loss to Jacksonville. The Everblades compiled a 3-0-2-0 record in the unbeaten streak. All three wins came against Jacksonville, which the 'Blades faced five straight times from Nov. 2-14.
- The Everblades have excelled in the second period and are tied for first in the league with a +7 goal differential in the middle frame this year. However, Florida's highest scoring single period this season was a four-goal third period last Friday in the 4-2 win over Jacksonville.
The Everblades conclude their busiest week of the regular season to-date with a Sunday afternoon matchup against the Gladiators at 3:05 p.m. at Infinite Energy Arena.
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The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes