ESTERO, Fla. — In the finale of a three-game set, the Florida Everblades (33-10-5-0, 71 pts.) vie for a series victory when they square off with the Adirondack Thunder (26-17-3-2, 57 pts.) on Saturday night at Hertz Arena.
VITALS:Game 49: Everblades vs. AdirondackWhen: 7 p.m. ETWhere: Hertz ArenaTickets: TicketmasterWatch: ECHL.tvListen: WJBXSocial: Twitter | #ADKvsFLAGame notes: Click here
Last Time OutAdirondack scored twice on three power-play opportunities and went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill to halt the Everblades’ seven-game home winning streak with a 3-1 win on Friday night at Hertz Arena. Brian Ward tabbed two goals, John Edwardh factored into all three Thunder goals to finish with a three-point night (1g-2a), and Evan Cormier earned his first win with 26 saves. Playing in his 18th career ECHL game, Stathis Soumelidis notched his first ECHL goal, Florida's only tally of the night. BOX SCORE | RECAP
Players to WatchDerek Sheppard (FLA) – The rookie defenseman returned to the Everblades lineup on Friday after he missed three games due to injury. Sheppard is tied for the lead in scoring among 'Blades defensemen with 23 points (10g-13a) and had registered a point in four straight games before going scoreless on Friday. The Ajax, Ontario, native has posted four multi-point games this season and has recorded three points on two occasions.
Brian Ward (ADK) - The third-year pro posted his second multi-goal game of the season and ninth of his career on Friday with a pair of tallies. He has played in 138 career games for the Thunder over the last three seasons and has 120 career points (67g-53a) in that time span. Ward played college hockey at St. Lawrence University and was college teammates with Tommy Thompson and Ben Masella from the Everblades.
Series historyIncluding this week's series, Florida and Adirondack have faced off in three consecutive seasons. Although the 'Blades went 1-1-0-1 in last year's three-game set in the regular season from Jan. 24-27, they went on to top the Thunder in five games in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final. Florida split its two home games in that series, earning a 4-3 win in Game 1 before falling in overtime, 3-2, in Game 2. Florida is 3-3-1 all-time against the Thunder.
Answering to AdversityFlorida has proved itself as a team that bounces back in the face of adversity. On the heels of a regulation or overtime loss this season, the 'Blades have compiled a record of 12-1-1. The Everblades have lost consecutive games in regulation just once this year, a 2-1 setback to Jacksonville on Nov. 14 and a 1-0 loss to South Carolina on Nov. 16.
Saturday Night's All RightThough the 'Blades are only 8-7-2-0 in Friday games, they've all but dominated in Saturday tilts. Florida is 13-1-3 in Saturday contests, a point percentage of .853. A key factor in Florida's success on Saturday nights has been a consistent outpouring of offense in those games. The Everblades have averaged 5.00 goals per game in Saturday contests and have been limited to less than four goals just three times. Entering the series finale with Adirondack, Florida has won seven straight Saturday affairs.
Three, PleaseThree has been the magic number for Florida this season. 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 33-0-4-0 in that scenario. However, Florida has not won a game in which it has scored less than three goals and is now 0-10-1-0 after Friday night's 3-1 loss.
Holy Helvig!Florida goaltender Jeremy Helvig, who is Saturday's probable starter, was the Howies Hockey Tape ECHL Rookie of the Month for January. The Hurricanes prospect is currently riding a 13-game personal win streak, which is tied for the third-longest streak in ECHL history. Since going winless in his first four starts, Helvig is 16-1-1 in his last 19 starts. He posted a 6-0-0 record, three shutouts, a 1.22 goals-against-average, and a .954 save percentage in January. Next Up The Everblades start their second straight week at home with a Wednesday night matchup against the Orlando Solar Bears. Faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
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