JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — With their South Division Semifinal series tied at two, the Florida Everblades aim to pull back ahead of the Jacksonville Icemen on Saturday night when the two teams meet for Game 5 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, the final matchup in Jacksonville in the series.
Last Time OutMichael Downing notched his second goal of the playoffs, but the Everblades couldn't solve Jacksonville goaltender Mikhail Berdin over the final 44:43 of game time in a 3-1 loss to the Icemen in Game 4 on Friday. After Florida outshot Jacksonville by just two shots (10-8) in the first period, the Everblades turned up the pressure down the stretch and blitzed Berdin with 27 shots over the final two periods, outshooting the Icemen by 17 shots (27-10) over the final 40 minutes. BOX SCORE | RECAP
Players to WatchBen Masella (FLA) – The second-year pro is the only 'Blades player who has registered a point in every game of the series with the Icemen. Masella, a native of Montreal, Quebec, has posted an assist in each game, and his four-game point streak is the longest of his career. The St. Lawrence University product finished third among all Worcester Railers defensemen with his 22-point season last year as a rookie.
Cam Maclise (JAX) - After tabbing an assist in his first game back with Jacksonville on Thursday, Maclise played a key role on Friday with a goal and two assists. He had the helper on the first goal of the game and then scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the first period. Maclise scored 20 points (12g-8a) in 34 regular season games with Jacksonville. He had seven points (2g-5a) in 38 games with the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose this year.
Series historyIncluding the first four games of the series, Florida and Jacksonville have squared off 31 times over the last two seasons. The Everblades hold a 24-5-2 all-time record against the Icemen and posted a 9-3-1 mark against Jacksonville in the regular season this year. The home team has had the upper hand in the season series, with Florida going 8-0-0 at Hertz Arena and Jacksonville compiling a 6-3-0 mark at Veterans Memorial Arena between the regular season and this playoff series.
Stymieing ShotsThe 'Blades have held the Icemen to less than 25 shots on goal in all four games of the playoff series and have allowed less than 20 shots in each of the last three games. Florida gave up less than 20 shots in four games in the regular season and three of those contests were against the Icemen. Jacksonville has outshot Florida in only three of the 17 games this year.
Only OneSpeaking of shots on goal, Florida limited Jacksonville to one shot on goal in the second period on Friday. That's the lowest shot total against the Everblades in one period both in the regular season and postseason this year. The 'Blades held Jacksonville to three shots in a period three times in the regular season, the Icemen's lowest shot total for a frame.
First ImpressionsThe season series with Jacksonville has been split almost evenly when it comes to which team has scored first. The Icemen have registered the first goal in nine of the 17 games, but are just 3-6-0 when they've found the back of the net first. Florida has tallied first in eight contests and is 5-2-1 when it has notched the initial tally.
Tonight's BroadcastGame 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 UpThe Everblades are back at home on Monday for Game 6. Faceoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Hertz Arena.
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