GREENVILLE, S.C. — In the middle game of a three-game weekend, the Florida Everblades (15-5-4-0, 34 pts.) conclude a stretch of four straight games against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (10-15-3-0, 23 pts.) with a 7:30 p.m. matchup on Friday at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Last Time OutJoe Cox, Shane Walsh, and Derek Sheppard found the back of the net, and Jamie Phillips turned aside 23 shots to earn his first shutout of the season in Florida's 3-0 win over Greenville on Thursday night. Cox opened the scoring with what held up as the game-winning goal, his third of the season, just nine minutes into the opening period. Walsh scored with just 58 seconds left in the first, and Sheppard scored shorthanded with 6:32 to play in the game for the final goal of the night.
BOX SCORE | RECAP Players to WatchJoe Cox (FLA) – The Chelsea, Michigan, native posted his sixth multi-point game of the season on Thursday night with an assist and his team-leading 11th goal. Only one-third of the way through the season, Cox is already halfway to his goal total (22g) and point total (54 pts.) from last season. He has points in five straight games to match his season-high.
Johno May (GRN) - After posting a two-goal game against the 'Blades in the first meeting between the two teams on Dec. 7, May has just one point total in each of the last two contests with Florida. He matched his career-best with a three-point game on Dec. 9 against Orlando, his third three-point outing of the season.
Series historyFriday is the fourth of 10 meetings between the two teams this season and the 93rd all-time matchup. Florida holds a 46-31-15 record against Greenville and posted a 5-0-0-2 record against the Swamp Rabbits last season. After dropping the first two meetings last year in shootout fashion, the 'Blades then won the final five meetings. The two sides will meet five times at Bon Secours Wellness Arena this season.
- Despite ranking second in the ECHL in goals against per game, Florida's shutout on Thursday was its first of the season. Coincidentally, the 'Blades last shutout also came against the Swamp Rabbits, a 3-0 win on March 28, 2018, in Estero, Florida.
- Phillips' shutout was the third blank slate of his ECHL career and first since he blanked the Brampton Beast on Nov. 8, 2017, in a 5-0 win for the Jacksonville Icemen. The Michigan Tech product has a season-high five-game individual winning streak and has not suffered a regulation loss in eight straight games dating back to Nov. 17. Phillips ranks third in the ECHL with a 2.15 goals-against-average.
- The Everblades 12-game point streak is now the longest in the ECHL this season. Prior to Thursday's win, the 'Blades were tied with Toledo for the longest point streak at 11 games. The Walleye's streak stretched from Oct. 20-Nov. 17, and they won 10 games in that span.
- With Thursday's win, Florida matched its longest point streak in the last two seasons. The 'Blades 12-game point streak last year was the second-longest point streak of the season in the ECHL, while their longest winning streak was 10 games to end the season.
- Florida has scored first in three straight games, all three of which have been against Greenville, and is one of just two teams in the 27-team ECHL that has not lost in regulation when scoring first this year. The 'Blades have a 9-0-3-0 record in such games. Tulsa (9-0-2-1) is the only other team without a regulation loss in games it has scored first.
- Sheppard's goal on Thursday gives the defenseman seven this season and put him fourth in the ECHL in goal output among defensemen. He leads the league's blue liners with five goals on special teams and is tied for the league lead among rear guards with four power-play markers.
- Thursday's game featured only three penalties and six penalty minutes, the fewest combined penalty minutes in a game the 'Blades have been involved in this season. The three combined power plays in the game were a stark contrast to the first meeting between the two teams last Friday, when they combined for 11 power plays.
- Cox is tied for ninth in the ECHL in scoring (27 pts.) and is tied for first in plus-minus (+20).
- Greenville has fared better at home this season than on the road, posting a 5-6-2 mark at home and a 4-9-1 record on the road. A big part of the Swamp Rabbits' better record on home ice has been better defensive play. Greenville has yielded only 3.08 goals per game at Bon Secours Wellness Arena compared to 4.20 goals per game on the road.
- Although Greenville is ranked 12th in the league on the power play at 17.9 percent (20-for-112), it has also allowed eight shorthanded goals, tied for the most shorthanded goals permitted by one team in the ECHL.
- In putting up 48 shots on goal last Wednesday in a 3-2 win over the Jacksonville Icemen, Florida set a new team season-high for a game this year. That shots on goal total was the 'Blades highest since they put up 53 shots on goal in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Swamp Rabbits on Feb. 2, 2018.
- In addition to blitzing Jacksonville with shots on Dec. 5, Florida was also strong in suppressing the Icemen offensive attack. The 'Blades permitted a season-low 18 shots on goal to eclipse their previous season-low of 22 shots on goal against.
Next Up Florida finishes off its stretch of three games in three days with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Jacksonville Icemen on Saturday in Jacksonville. Saturday is the seventh meeting with the Icemen this season and the fourth in Jacksonville. —
Single-game tickets for all regular season home games are on sale now!Ticket packages for the 2018-19 season are still on sale! Become part of the Everblades Family with a Partial Season or a Flexible Voucher Package that fits your schedule and budget! All Ticket & Voucher Packages provide savings and special benefits! To view the Ticket & Voucher Package options CLICK HERE. SPECIAL OFFER! Purchase a new ticket package for the 2018-19 season and receive a $20 gift card to Ford’s Garage and an Everblades T-Shirt!Private Arena Tours are also available to select your 2018-19 season seats! Call the Everblades office at 239-948-7825 to schedule your tour today!
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes