JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Seeking to regain a two-game edge in their South Division Semifinal series, the Florida Everblades square off against the Jacksonville Icemen in Game 4 of the best-of-seven set at 7 p.m. at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
Last Time OutEverblades captain John McCarron registered a goal and an assist for the second straight game, but Jacksonville's Maxime Fortier scored twice in a 14-second span in the last eight minutes of the third period to help the Icemen to a 4-3 win in Game 3 on Thursday night. Justin Auger started the scoring for Florida with a goal in the last minute of the opening period, but Jacksonville scored twice in the second period to take the lead and never trailed from there. Alex Tonge tied the game for the 'Blades only 1:30 into the third period, but the Icemen scored on two of their three shots in the final frame to earn the win. BOX SCORE | RECAP
Players to WatchJohn McCarron (FLA) – McCarron was arguably the best player in head-to-head meetings between Florida and Jacksonville in the regular season, scoring 15 points (5g-10a) in 11 games to lead all players. He's continued that scoring prowess through the first three games of the series and now has 20 points (7g-13a) against the Icemen this year. With consecutive multi-point games, McCarron now has 17 career multi-point games in the playoffs.
Maxime Fortier (JAX) - Fortier notched his third multi-goal game between the regular season and postseason this year with two goals on Thursday night. He had two multi-goal games in the regular season and tabbed 25 points (12g-13a) in 24 games in the regular season. The rookie forward played four seasons in the QMJHL and recorded 270 points (104g-166a) in 263 career games.
Series historyIncluding the first three games of the series, Florida and Jacksonville have squared off 30 times over the last two seasons. The Everblades hold a 24-4-2 all-time record against the Icemen and posted a 9-3-1 mark against Jacksonville in the regular season this year. The home team had the upper hand in the regular season series, with Florida going 6-0-0 at Hertz Arena and Jacksonville compiling a 4-3-0 mark at Veterans Memorial Arena.
Late StrikesJustin Auger's game-opening tally on Thursday was Florida's first goal of the playoffs that came in the last two minutes of a period. Excluding empty-net goals, Florida scored 29 goals in the last two minutes of a period in the regular season.
No Shot(s)Florida has been adept at suppressing Jacksonville's offensive opportunities all season. The 'Blades have held the Icemen to less than 25 shots on goal in all three games of the playoff series and have allowed less than 20 shots in each of the last two games. Florida gave up less than 20 shots in four games this season and three of those contests were against the Icemen. Jacksonville has outshot Florida in only three of the 16 games this year.
Bouncing BackThough the 'Blades lost 10 road games in the regular season, they lost consecutive road games just once all season. Florida suffered three straight road setbacks from Nov. 3-16—two of which were against Jacksonville—but that was the only time all season Florida didn't respond from a road setback with a victory in its next road game. The Everblades went 9-2-0 in their next road game after a road loss in the regular season.
This Week's BroadcastsFans can listen live to Game 4 on Friday on 99.3 FM ESPN or online at 993espn.com. Game 5 on Saturday will be broadcast on WJBX – News, Talk & More, which is on the radio dial at 101.5 FM, 104.3 FM, and 770 AM and online at wjbxnewstalk.com. Don’t miss out on the official watch party for all Everblades road games at Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill at both their Estero and Naples locations!
Next UpGame 5 is slated for Saturday at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Arena.
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