ESTERO, Fla. — Looking to knot the best-of-seven series at one win apiece, the Florida Everblades host the Orlando Solar Bears for Game 2 of the South Division Finals on Saturday night at Hertz Arena.
VITALS:South Division Final - Game 2: Everblades vs. OrlandoWhen: 7 p.m. ETWhere: Hertz ArenaTickets: TicketmasterWatch: ECHL.tvListen: 99.3 FM ESPNSocial: Twitter | #ORLvsFLAGame Notes: Click here
Last Time OutEverblades goaltender Callum Booth made 25 saves, but his strong start was not enough in Florida’s 2-1 overtime loss to Orlando in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series on Friday at Hertz Arena. Defenseman Riley Weselowski scored his first goal as a member of the Everblades to give Florida a 1-0 lead in the first five minutes of the second period, but Orlando posted the final two goals of the game to earn the win. Hunter Fejes tied the game at the 9:57 mark of the third, and Colby McAuley tallied only 55 seconds into overtime. BOX SCORE | RECAP
Players to WatchJoe Cox (FLA) – The second-year pro returned to the lineup on Friday after missing four games due to injury and quickly made an impact by registering his first point of the postseason. Cox was voted by his teammates as the Everblades Most Valuable Player in the regular season. The Michigan State University product tabbed a career-best 61 points (27g-34a) in 55 games in the regular season. He has 115 points (49g-66a) in 130 career games in the ECHL. He was fourth on the 'Blades last year with 16 playoff points (6g-10a).
Troy Bourke (ORL) - Bourke notched the primary assist on the Solar Bears' game-tying goal in the third period on Friday and is now second on Orlando with five points (1g-4a) in the playoffs. One of Orlando's alternate captains, Bourke was a dynamic offensive force in the regular season and recorded 45 points (11g-34a) in only 30 games. He had five points (2g-3a) in four games against Florida in the regular season.
Series historyFlorida and Orlando squared off 12 times during the regular season and split those 12 meetings right down the middle, with each team posting a 6-3-2-1 record. The 'Blades have held the significant edge in the all-time series since Orlando joined the ECHL for the 2012-13 season. Florida has compiled a 61-24-7 all-time mark and a playoff record of 12-7 against the Solar Bears over the seven seasons of matchups.
Overtime OverloadOf the 12 regular-season meetings between the 'Blades and Solar Bears, six needed at least overtime to decide the winner, with two of those six games requiring a shootout. Including Friday's overtime affair, the two teams have gone to overtime in each of the last four matchups. The Everblades played in only 13 overtime games during the regular season, so almost half of their overtime affairs came against the Solar Bears. Friday's game was just the third time in 19 playoff matchups that the two teams have gone to overtime.
Comeback KidsThough Florida lost Game 1 on Friday, it has overcome a series deficit to eliminate Orlando once before in the three previous postseason series between the two teams. The 'Blades lost both of their first two games against Orlando in the 2017 South Division Semifinals but came back to win that series in seven games. Florida eventually faced a 3-1 series deficit and had to win three straight contests in that series to advance to the second round.
Shots, shots, shotsFlorida was outshot in only 15 of its 72 games in the regular season and has yet to be outshot in a playoff game. Only the Tulsa Oilers, who had fewer shots on goal than their opponent in eight games in the regular season, were outshot fewer times than Florida in the 2018-19 regular season. Idaho is the only other playoff team yet to be outshot.
Tonight's BroadcastTonight's Game 2 will air on 99.3 FM ESPN. Fans can also listen online at 993espn.com. For the latest broadcast information throughout the playoffs, make sure to follow the 'Blades on Facebook and Twitter.
Next UpGame 2 of the South Division Finals is slated for 7 p.m. on Saturday at Hertz Arena.
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