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Second effort: ‘Blades score three in second period to beat Stingrays

Saturday, February 23rd
Second effort: ‘Blades score three in second period to beat Stingrays

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — The forward line of Joe Cox, Kyle Platzer and Michael Neville combined for six points and John McCarron added two goals to give the Florida Everblades a 5-3 win over the South Carolina Stingrays on Friday night at North Charleston Coliseum.

BOX SCORE

On the heels of consecutive losses, Florida (36-13-5-0, 77 pts.) scored three times in the second period and never relinquished that lead to top South Carolina (25-23-5-0, 55 pts.) in the opener of the two-game series.

Cox helped propel Florida ahead with his team-leading 25th goal of the year less than halfway through the first. After picking up a loose puck in the left circle, Cox fed it behind the net for Platzer, who immediately returned it to Cox in front of the net. Cox promptly ripped a shot past South Carolina goaltender Parker Milner to give Florida a 1-0 lead at the 8:40 mark of the first.

South Carolina responded to tie the game off a two-on-one rush. Andrew Cherniwchan carried the puck down the left wing across the ‘Blades line and then fired a shot above the blocker of Florida goaltender Jeremy Helvig with 6:48 to play in the first.

But Florida came up with a big response in period two, scoring three of the four goals in the middle frame to take a 4-2 lead. Nathan Perkovich found the back of the net just 12 seconds into the second period — Florida’s fastest goal to start a period this season — to set the tone. On a strange carom off the corner boards, Perkovich gathered the puck at the far post and stuffed it past Milner to make it 2-1.

Michael Neville and John McCarron then scored less than two and a half minutes apart to make it a 4-1 advantage for Florida. Platzer notched his second assist of the night with an incredible pass from the right wing that found Neville crashing through the low slot. Neville deflected the feed in one motion into the net at 8:30 of the second.

Then, at the 10:50 mark of the second period, McCarron redirected Michael Downing’s shot from the high slot to extend the Everblades’ lead to three.

South Carolina pulled back within two on a goal from Jonathan Charbonneau in the last 69 seconds of the second period. With the puck loose behind the ‘Blades goal, Charbonneau banked it off Downing and past Helvig.

The Stingrays closed their deficit to just one in the final five minutes of regulation on a power-play goal from Jordan Samuels-Thomas.

Florida was then assessed a delay of game penalty with one minute, 45 seconds remaining in regulation, but McCarron scored an empty-net goal with Milner lifted for an extra attacker to seal the victory.

Helvig finished with 26 saves to earn his 18th win of his rookie season.

The ‘Blades now eye a series sweep of the Stingrays. Faceoff for the series finale against South Carolina is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Single-game tickets for all regular season home games start at just $10!

Ticket packages for the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs presented by Smile Direct Club and 2019-20 season ticket packages are on sale now! 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 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

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