ORLANDO, Fla. — Four different players scored a goal and Callum Booth stopped all 33 shots he faced to lead the Florida Everblades to a 4-0 win over the Orlando Solar Bears on Thursday night at the Amway Center.
Booth posted his first career postseason shutout, making 27 of his 33 saves over the final two periods, to lead the ‘Blades to a 3-1 series lead and within one win of closing out the series.
Florida’s power play won Game 3 on Tuesday and contributed its third goal of the series to start the scoring with 3:57 to play in the first. Following Blake Winiecki’s dump into the left corner of Florida’s offensive zone, Michael Downing held the puck in the zone at the far point and distributed it quickly to his right for Matt Finn. Finn then ripped a shot from the top of the right circle that Winiecki deflected past Orlando goaltender Connor Ingram.
Justin Auger increased Florida’s lead to two goals with his third goal of the playoffs at the 7:44 mark of the second period. Following an extended sequence in the offensive zone for Orlando, the Everblades finally escaped to center and Auger struck on an abbreviated breakaway with a backhand shot over the blocker of Ingram.
Florida then ensured the victory with a pair of insurance goals in the third period. With Florida on the power play in the first three minutes of the third, it escaped a shorthanded chance from Orlando and broke out for a three-on-two rush. Winiecki hit Logan Roe, the trailer in the zone rush, with a pass in the slot, and Roe ripped it over Ingram’s outstretched glove at 2:13 of the third.
Defenseman Ben Masella scored less than seven minutes later on another breakaway opportunity for his fourth goal of the postseason. Off a feed from Nathan Perkovich, Masella stepped across the line, made a head fake, and then put the puck upstairs over Ingram from his backhand.
Florida’s special teams dominated the game to secure the victory. The ‘Blades killed off all of Orlando’s six power plays and finished 2-for-3 on the power play.
Florida can close out the South Division Finals with a win on Friday night in Game 5 at the Amway Center. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m.
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