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Shake and Blake: Winiecki aids 'Blades to series sweep of Atlanta

Sunday, March 10th
Shake and Blake: Winiecki aids 'Blades to series sweep of Atlanta

ESTERO, Fla. — Blake Winiecki scored twice for the second straight night and Kyle Platzer registered the lone shootout goal to send the Florida Everblades to a 4-3 shootout win and a series sweep over the Atlanta Gladiators on Saturday night at Hertz Arena.

BOX SCORE

In his first game back with Florida (42-15-5-0, 89 pts.), goaltender Callum Booth made 22 saves in his ‘Blades season debut and stopped all three shooters he faced in the shootout to help give the Everblades their fifth straight victory.

Desperate for two points to claw at the heels of South Carolina for the final playoff spot in the South Division, Atlanta (24-25-7-2, 57 pts.) got out to a two-goal lead midway through the first period.

The Gladiators got on the board first at 10:52 of the first off an offensive zone draw that came back to Zach Malatesta at the point for a blast that beat Booth.

The Gladiators added to their lead 1:27 later while playing four-on-four. Atlanta came into the zone on a two-on-two rush, but Brett McKenzie broke around his man to the top of the left circle for a shooting lane and wristed a shot that beat Booth down low for the goal.

A huge chance for a momentum swing came with 5:07 to play in the first period, as the ‘Blades went for a five-on-three power play for one minute, 20 seconds. Winiecki made the most of the opportunity, scoring his eighth goal of the year against the Gladiators. As Florida rotated from man to man in the offensive end, Michael Neville sent the puck to Winiecki up high. He walked into the top of the slot and fired a shot that cleanly beat Atlanta goaltender Michael Blitzer to make it 2-1 with 4:24 to play in the first period.  

Florida tied the game 3:52 into the second with a power-play goal from Matt Finn, who has scored in three straight games. Arguably the only player hotter than Finn, Winiecki set up the game-tying strike with a feed from the left-wing wall to the back post for Finn. Finn jammed in the feed past Bitzer to make it 2-2.

Winiecki added a shorthanded goal, his fourth in two games, to give the ‘Blades the lead with 1:44 to play in the second period. With the puck sliding to the high slot in Florida’s defensive zone, Winiecki whacked the puck out to center, gathered it and raced out on a breakaway. He then fired a shot that got past Blitzer to give the ‘Blades their first lead of the game.

The ‘Blades got into penalty trouble early in the third period and had to kill off one minute, two seconds of five-on-three time. The Gladiators capitalized on the two-man advantage at 5:27 to tie the game at three. Brett McKenzie picked up his second point of the night, finding Nick Bligh on the backdoor to put it by Booth.

Neither team scored in the remainder of regulation or overtime to set the stage for Platzer and Booth to team up in the shootout to give Florida the win.Florida plays four games in five days next week, starting with a Wednesday night matchup in Orlando against the Solar Bears. 

Ticket packages for the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs presented by Smile Direct Club and 2019-20 Season Tickets and Flexible Packages are on sale now!

Join the FUN and 'Blades FAMILY by SAVING with Season Tickets or a Flexible Package that fit into your schedule and budget, plus receive FREE gifts and benefits!

SPECIAL OFFER! Purchase a new Season Ticket or Flexible Package for the 2019-20 season and receive a $20 gift card to Ford’s Garage and an Everblades tote bag!

To view the Package options, savings and benefits CLICK HERE.

Private tours of Hertz Arena are available to select your season seats! Call the Florida Everblades Front Office at 239-948-7825 to schedule your tour today!

The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Jacksonville Icemen @ Florida Everblades
Wednesday, March 6th
Jacksonville Icemen @ Florida Everblades
Puck Drops:
7:30 PM EST
Hertz Arena
Jacksonville Icemen
JAX Jacksonville Icemen
at
Florida Everblades
FLA Florida Everblades
Hertz Arena
St. Patty's Day
Friday, March 8th
St. Patty's Day
Puck Drops:
7:30 PM EST
Hertz Arena
Orlando Solar Bears
ORL Orlando Solar Bears
at
Florida Everblades
FLA Florida Everblades
Hertz Arena
Savannah Ghost Pirates @ Florida Everblades
Wednesday, March 20th
Savannah Ghost Pirates @ Florida Everblades
Puck Drops:
7:30 PM EDT
Hertz Arena
Savannah Ghost Pirates
SAV Savannah Ghost Pirates
at
Florida Everblades
FLA Florida Everblades
Hertz Arena

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