RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Florida Everblades (27-7-5-0, 59 pts.) aim to match their season-high winning streak of six games when they face the Rapid City Rush (15-21-2-3, 35 pts.) in the middle game of a three-game set on Friday night at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Last Time OutKyle Platzer (1g-1a) tabbed his fifth straight multi-point game and Jeremy Helvig stopped all 22 shots he faced to lead Florida to a 4-0 win over Rapid City on Wednesday night in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. After a scoreless first period, Florida scored twice in a seven-second span in the first five minutes of the second period on goals from Joe Cox and Derek Sheppard. John McCarron added an empty-net score, his 16th goal of the year.
BOX SCORE | RECAP Players to WatchJohn McCarron (FLA) – Despite missing six games while on loan to the Stockton Thunder, McCarron got right back at it on Wednesday with a goal to extend his point streak to seven games (6g-6a), which is tied for a career-high. McCarron also had a seven-game point streak (6g-7a), which included a six-game assist streak, in his first year with Florida in the 2016-17 campaign.
Shaquille Merasty (RC) - In addition to leading Rapid City in penalty minutes with 132, Merasty is second among active Rush skaters with 20 points (8g-12a). The Minnedosa, Manitoba, native led the Rush's offensive attack on Wednesday with six shots on goal and has posted at least one shot on goal in all but one of the 36 games he's played in this year.
Series historyFriday marks the second all-time meeting between the two teams. After squaring off with Rapid City for the first time in franchise history on Wednesday, Florida has yet to face just two other current members of the ECHL, the Wichita Thunder and the Maine Mariners. The Everblades hold a 79-40-15 all-time record against current Western Conference teams, a point percentage of .646.
Clean Slate ClubWith his 22-save performance on Wednesday, Helvig became the first 'Blades goaltender since the 2015-16 season to post consecutive shutouts. Daniel Altshuller was the last Florida netminder to accomplish the feat with two straight 21-save performances on Nov. 14, 2015, and Nov. 27, 2015, against Idaho and Colorado, respectively.
Defensive StalwartsAlong with leading the ECHL in offense per game, the 'Blades are again the league's most stingy defensive group thanks to their shutout on Wednesday. Florida has allowed, on average, just 2.44 goals per game this season and has limited an opponent to less than three goals 23 times this season.
Mr. 400Everblades head coach Brad Ralph will coach in his 400th career ECHL game on Friday. The Richmond, Ontario, native has logged an impressive 126-41-16 record in 183 games behind the 'Blades bench for a point percentage of .732. Then, on Tuesday, Ralph will coach in the CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, the third straight season he has earned the right to coach in the game. At this time last year...Through 39 games, Florida is just two wins and two points off its record-setting pace last year when it set a franchise record with 112 points and tied the franchise record with 53 wins. The 'Blades had a 29-7-1-2 record and 61 points through 39 games played last season. Florida finished the first half of the season last year with a 27-6-1-2 record and a 26-7-1-2 mark in the second half. This year, Florida compiled a 24-7-5-0 record in the first half and would need 29 wins in the second half to match the franchise record for victories.
Next Up Florida wraps up the three-game set with the Rush on Saturday night with a 9:05 p.m. ET tilt. —
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