RAPID CITY, S.D. — With a chance to earn the series victory, the Florida Everblades (27-8-5-0, 59 pts.) square off with the Rapid City Rush (16-21-2-3, 37 pts.) in the series finale of a three-game set on Saturday night at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Last Time OutShane Walsh scored in the first four minutes of the third period to give Florida a 2-1 lead, but Rapid City struck for the final two goals of the game to earn a 3-2 victory on Friday night in the middle game of the three-game series. The Rush converted twice on three power-play opportunities, which included the game-tying goal from Garrett Klotz with 11:51 left in regulation. Justin Faryna then scored the go-ahead goal with just 18 seconds left in regulation.
BOX SCORE | RECAP Players to WatchJeremy Helvig (FLA) – After dropping his first four professional starts, Helvig has just one loss and a 12-1-1 record over his last 14 appearances. The Markham, Ontario, native is in the midst of one of his best stretches of the season and has yielded just five goals over his last five appearances. In that five-game stretch, the Hurricanes prospect has posted a .964 save percentage and a 0.99 goals-against-average.
Garrett Klotz (RC) - The 11th-year pro posted his second multi-point game of the season, his first since his second game of the year, with a goal and an assist on Friday night. The Regina, Saskatchewan, native is now fifth among Rush players with his seven goals this season. He has played in 341 career professional games, including 184 games in the ECHL.
Series historySaturday marks the third 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 79-41-15 all-time record against current Western Conference teams, a point percentage of .641. Close callsFriday's loss was Florida's first game decided by one goal since a 2-1 setback to the Atlanta Gladiators on Jan. 4 at Hertz Arena. After posting a 1-4-4 record in their first nine one-goal games, the 'Blades won five of six contests separated by the minimum from Dec. 5-29 before dropping their last two one-goal affairs.
Bouncin' BackFlorida has responded well this season on the heels of a defeat and has posted a 10-1-1 record in the game after either a regulation or overtime loss. The 'Blades have lost consecutive games in regulation just one time this season, falling to the Jacksonville Icemen, 2-1, and the South Carolina Stingrays, 1-0, on Nov. 14 and Nov. 16, respectively.
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 also tied for the league lead in goals allowed per game. Florida has yielded, on average, just 2.45 goals per game this season and has limited an opponent to less than three goals 23 times this season.
Next Up Florida will take on the Jacksonville Icemen next weekend in a home-and-home series that starts with a Friday night matchup at Hertz Arena. The series then transitions to Jacksonville on Saturday for the weekend finale. —
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