ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida Everblades (37-15-5-0, 79 pts.) conclude a stretch of three straight games against the Orlando Solar Bears (31-19-4-0, 66 pts.) with a Saturday night matchup in Orlando at the Amway Center.
Last Time OutFormer Everblades star Ernie Hartlieb scored in his first game with Florida since the 2013-14 season, but Orlando capitalized three times on the power play to skate to a 7-2 victory in Estero on Friday night. Brent Pedersen matched an Orlando record with a five-point night (2g-3a) and Otto Somppi added two goals for the Solar Bears, which went 3-for-6 on the man advantage. Florida scored two power-play goals of its own but couldn't climb out of a 3-0 hole after two periods. BOX SCORE | RECAP
Players to WatchMichael Neville (FLA) – A product of Michigan Tech University, Neville has stepped to the forefront for the Everblades in recent games and has a goal in three of his last four contests. He has at least one point in six of his last seven games, tabbing four goals and three assists in that stretch. The Woodbridge, Ontario, native reached 10 goals with his score on Friday night.
Brent Pedersen (ORL) - Pedersen made an impressive return to Orlando with his five-point night on Friday in his first game back with the Solar Bears after being sent down from the American Hockey League. The rookie has tabbed multiple points in nearly one-third of his 23 games this season, with seven multi-point games this year. He has 27 points total on nine goals and 18 assists.
Series historySaturday is the ninth of 12 total meetings between the Everblades and Solar Bears this season and the fifth of six matchups at the Amway Center. Florida has compiled a 58-24-6 all-time record against Orlando, including a 3-3-2 mark this year. Through four games in Orlando, Florida has picked up a 1-2-1-0 record. The 'Blades finished 10-4-0-0 overall against Orlando last season and went 7-2-0-0 in Orlando.
Starting to ClickAfter going five games without a power-play goal, which was tied for the longest stretch of the season without one, the 'Blades notched two power-play markers on Friday night. Florida went without a power-play goal against Orlando in the first four meetings (0-for-13) between the two teams this season but has now converted on 6-of-20 man advantages over the last four matchups with the Solar Bears.
Road WarriorsAlthough it lost on the road on Wednesday in Orlando, Florida still leads the league with its 18 road wins. Florida has averaged about half a goal less in road games (3.53) than in home tilts (4.11), but its defense has held serve in road contests, limiting opponents to fewer goals per game in road games (2.53) than in home games (2.59).
Needing ThreeThree has been the magic number for Florida this season. The 'Blades have lost just one game in regulation when they have found the back of the net three times, sporting a record of 37-1-4-0 in that scenario. However, Florida has not won a game in which it has scored less than three goals and has compiled a 0-14-1-0 mark when being held under three goals.
This Weekend's BroadcastsSaturday's and Sunday's broadcasts against Orlando and Jacksonville, respectively, will both air on 99.3 FM ESPN. The change in the station is just for those two games, 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 finishes off its four-game week with a Sunday afternoon affair in Jacksonville against the Icemen. The game gets underway at 3 p.m. ET.
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