RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Florida Everblades (26-7-5-0, 57 pts.) battle the Rapid City Rush (15-20-2-3, 35 pts.) for the first time in franchise history on Wednesday night, the first of a three-game set with their only non-conference foe of the 2018-19 regular season.
Last Time OutKyle Platzer tabbed his first career professional hat trick, Justin Auger notched his second multi-goal game of the season, and Florida scored a season-high 10 goals in a 10-4 drubbing of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Saturday night at Hertz Arena. Eight different players posted a multi-point game for the 'Blades, a season-high for one game, and 15 of the 16 skaters in the lineup recorded at least one point. Jamie Phillips earned his 15th win of the season with 28 saves.
BOX SCORE | RECAP Players to WatchKyle Platzer (FLA) – Platzer, this week's Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week, is riding a mini four-game point streak and has amassed 10 points, including six goals, in that stretch. The Waterloo, Ontario, native earned the ECHL Player of the Week honor once last season, his first year in the ECHL, for the week of Oct. 16-22 while he was with the Wichita Thunder.
Andrew Radjenovic (RC) - Rapid City's leading scorer, Radjenovic has netted 16 goals and 34 points in 40 games and has six more goals and nine more points than the next closest player on the Rush's roster. The 27-year-old is in his third season in the ECHL and has 79 career points (37g-42a) in 116 games. He has notched multiple points in seven different games this season.
Series historyWednesday is the first-ever meeting between the two teams. The Rush are one of just three teams in the current 27-team ECHL that the 'Blades have never played. The Wichita Thunder and the Maine Mariners are the only other two Florida has yet to face. The Everblades hold a 78-40-15 all-time record against current Western Conference teams, a point percentage of .643.
On the OffensiveFlorida has ranked as low as 20th in the ECHL in goals for per game this season but currently sits atop the league in offensive output per game (4.03 gf/game). Thanks to the 10-goal night against Greenville on Saturday, the 'Blades are now averaging more than four goals per contest for the first time this year. Since getting shutout on Nov. 16 at South Carolina, Florida has averaged 4.62 goals per game in its last 26 contests and has tabbed four or more goals 19 times in that stretch.
Defensive StalwartsIn addition to pacing the league in goal scoring, Florida also ranks near the top of the league in a pair of defensive categories. Florida is second in the ECHL in both shots against per game (27.0) and goals against per game (2.50). The 'Blades have limited an opponent to less than two goals on seven occasions this season and have held an opposing team to less than three goals 22 times.
Winning WaysRookie goaltender Jeremy Helvig, the expected starter for Florida on Wednesday, has an eight-game winning streak, a five-game road winning streak and an 11-game unbeaten streak entering Wednesday, all of which are season-high streaks for a 'Blades netminder this year. He ranks fifth in the league with a 2.39 goals-against-average.
Plus PlayerAfter leading the ECHL in plus-minus rating last season with a +43 rating, Logan Roe is back atop the league in that category again this season. Through 38 games, Roe is a +32 and has been an even or better rating in 32 games this year, including a career-high +5 last Friday night in a 5-0 win over Greenville.
Three, pleaseWhen Florida has reached three goals in a game, success has followed. The 'Blades have yet to lose a game in regulation when they have found the back of the net three times, sporting a record of 26-0-4-0 in that scenario. With five or more goals in four straight games, Florida has now posted five or more goals in 13 of its 38 games.
Next Up Florida has the day off on Thursday before resuming the three-game series with Rapid City on Friday at 9:05 p.m. ET. —
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 tote bag!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