ESTERO, Fla. — The Florida Everblades (3-3-2-0, 8 pts.) continue a stretch of five straight games against the Jacksonville Icemen (7-2-0-0, 14 pts.) with a two-game series on Friday and Saturday night at Hertz Arena. Friday's game is a 7:30 p.m. start, and Saturday's contest begins at 7 p.m.
Last Time Out
Florida earned a point in a 4-3 overtime loss to Jacksonville last Saturday night at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville. Derek Sheppard and Matt Finn both registered power-play goals for Florida, while John McCarron stretched his goal streak to three games with his fourth score of the year. The two power-play goals were the most in one game this season for the Everblades, which are now third in the league on the man advantage at 20.8 percent.
Players to Watch
Jamie Phillips (FLA) – After playing 16 games with Jacksonville last season, Phillips has put together a strong start to his 2018-19 season with the 'Blades, posting a 3-1-0-0 record through four appearances. Phillips ranks fifth in the ECHL in goals-against-average (1.76) and sixth in save percentage (.929). He has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his four starts.
Wacey Rabbit (JAX) - The Lethbridge, Alberta, native has recorded at least one point in every game this season for Jacksonville. His active nine-game point streak is tied for the longest such streak in the ECHL this season, and he has posted six goals and five assists in that stretch.
- Jacksonville is in the midst of a stretch of four games in five days and has already played twice this week entering Friday night. The Icemen fell to the Orlando Solar Bears on Tuesday before earning a 4-1 win over the South Carolina Stingrays on Thursday morning.
- Florida named its leadership group earlier this week. John McCarron will serve as Florida's captain, and Joe Cox, Logan Roe, and Jordon Southorn will fill the alternate captain roles.
- The Everblades' power play excelled last weekend, converting on three of seven opportunities. Derek Sheppard and Matt Finn both tallied on the man advantage on Saturday, the most power-play goals in a game this season for Florida. Because of the power-play success, Florida moved up 18 spots to third in the league in power-play conversion rate at 20.8 percent.
- The Everblades have yet to lose in regulation against Jacksonville in 16 all-time meetings with the Icemen, holding a 14-0-2-0 record. Florida did not play the Icemen while they were based in Evansville, Indiana, from 2012-16 but boasted a 13-0-1-0 record in 14 matchups with Jacksonville last season.
- McCarron potted his fourth goal of the season on Saturday night in Jacksonville to extend his goal-scoring streak to three games, a season-high for any 'Blades player. The Macomb, Michigan, native posted his first multi-point game of the season and 43rd of his ECHL career with a goal and assist in Friday's win.
- Zach Nastasiuk registered a goal and an assist on Friday in his second multi-point game of the year and picked up an assist on Saturday to extend his season-long point streak to three games.
- Jordon Southorn had one assist in both games last weekend to push his point streak to a season-high three games. He is tied with McCarron and Nastasiuk for the longest point streak this season, with all three streaks currently active.
- Last Saturday's game with Jacksonville featured a season-high 64 combined penalty minutes between the two teams, including 42 penalty minutes for Jacksonville. That total was more than double the Everblades previous high of 32 combined penalty minutes from the series opener with the Icemen on Friday.
- Speaking of penalties, the Icemen enter Friday having been assessed the second-most penalty minutes per game in the ECHL this season, averaging 21.6 penalty minutes per tilt. Their 42 penalty minutes on Saturday were the fifth-most by an ECHL team in a game this season.
- Florida's penalty kill has been formidable on home ice this season, killing off all but one opposing penalty for a success rate of 92.8 percent. That home penalty kill percentage puts the 'Blades second overall in the ECHL.
- Only two of Jacksonville's nine games have been on the road. The Icemen topped the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 5-1, on Oct. 28 and fell to the Orlando Solar Bears, 7-4, on Tuesday.
- After allowing the first goal in each of the first five games, the Everblades have scored first in three consecutive games. McCarron has scored the first goal in two of those three games.
Florida finishes up the weekend series with Jacksonville on Saturday night with Military Night. The Everblades will sport special camouflage jerseys in the weekend finale, and those jerseys will be auctioned off postgame to benefit the National Coalition for Patriots.
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The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes