ESTERO, Fla. — The Florida Everblades (33-11-5-0, 71 pts.) aim to stay on top of the ECHL standings and halt a brief two-game losing streak when they host the Orlando Solar Bears (25-18-3-0, 53 pts.) in an in-state rivalry matchup on Wednesday night at Hertz Arena.
VITALS:Game 50: Everblades vs. OrlandoWhen: 7:30 p.m. ETWhere: Hertz ArenaTickets: TicketmasterWatch: ECHL.tvListen: 99.3 ESPNSocial: Twitter | #ORLvsFLAGame notes: Click here
Last Time OutAdirondack scored twice in the first period and Alex Sakellaropoulos made 26 saves to lead the Thunder to a series victory with a 4-1 win over the Everblades in the finale of the three-game set on Saturday night. Kyle Platzer hit the 20-goal plateau when he scored Florida’s only goal of the night in the second period. Brian Ward led the way offensively for the Thunder with three points (1g-2a), while Dylan Walchuk and James Henry both had two points to snap Jeremy Helvig’s 13-game personal winning streak. BOX SCORE | RECAP
Players to WatchKyle Platzer (FLA) – The Waterloo, Ontario, native became the third 'Blades player to reach the 20-goal plateau when he notched his 20th goal of the season on Saturday. Platzer, a fourth-year pro, snapped a five-game goal drought with Saturday's tally and has tabbed 11 multi-point games this season, including Florida's only hat trick of the season on Jan. 12 against Greenville.
Martin Ouellette (ORL) - Ouellette, who is under contract with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, has seen the most time in net for the Solar Bears this season and has appeared in 21 contests with a record of 14-6-1. The former Everblades goaltender is the reigning ECHL Goaltender of the Week after going 3-0-0 last week with a 1.59 goals-against-average and a .944 save percentage.
Series historyWednesday night marks the 86th all-time meeting between Florida and Orlando. Florida leads the series with a 57-22-6 record against the Solar Bears and is 2-1-2 against Orlando this season. In the most recent meeting between the two teams on Dec. 22, the Everblades overcame a 5-3 deficit in the third period to earn a 6-5 overtime win. Matt Finn (1g-2a) and Derek Sheppard (2g-1a) both had three-point games for Florida that night to pace the offensive attack.
Home SuccessFlorida is tied for the second-most home wins in the ECHL with 17, and its offensive prowess at Hertz Arena has been a big reason for its success. Despite scoring just one goal in each of its last two home games, Florida is still averaging 4.13 goals per game on home ice this season. The Everblades have scored four or more goals in 15 of their 23 home games and have a 14-0-1 record when they've hit at least four goals at home.
First and ForemostFlorida has allowed the first goal in three straight games, the second-longest stretch of permitting the first goal this season. The 'Blades yielded the first tally in four consecutive games from Nov. 9-16, which coincided with the only other string of two consecutive losses this season. Florida has scored the first goal in 13 of its 23 home games and is 10-1-2 when finding the back of the net first at home.
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 0-11-1-0 after Saturday night's 4-1 loss.
Tonight's BroadcastWednesday's broadcast against Orlando will air on 99.3 FM ESPN. The change in the station is just for Wednesday's game, and WJBX will continue to be the home of 'Blades hockey in the 2018-19 season. Both 99.3 ESPN and WJBX are owned and operated by Beasley Media Group. Fans can listen live online at 993espn.com. Next Up Florida starts its final non-divisional series of the season on Friday night with the series opener of a two-game set with the Manchester Monarchs. The game gets underway at 7:30 p.m.
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The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes