NORFOLK, Va. — The Florida Everblades scored three times in the first period and held off a late charge by the Norfolk Admirals to earn a 4-3 win in the season opener on Friday night at the Norfolk Scope.
Leading 4-3 late in the third period, the Everblades (1-0-0, 2 pts.) had to kill off two penalties in the last six minutes of regulation to top the Admirals (0-1-0, 0 pts.) for the seventh time in the last nine meetings.
After Norfolk started the scoring only 1:52 into the first, Florida struck three times before the end of the period to take a 3-1 lead. Justin Auger netted the ‘Blades first goal of the season on a hard shot off the faceoff from the top of the right circle at the 7:49 mark of the first. Blake Winiecki then redirected a shot at the side of the net only two minutes, three seconds later to give Florida the lead for good. Tanner Jeannot finished the scoring in the first with a redirect from between the circles with 6:39 to play in the frame.
The ‘Blades struck at the outset of the second period on what proved to be the game-winning goal. Patrick McCarron squeezed his way down the right-wing wall and then fed Michael Huntebrinker, who tapped in the pass at the back post at the 2:44 mark of the second.
With the ‘Blades looking to seize control of the game, the Admirals clawed back into contention thanks to a pair of goals before the end of the middle frame. JC Campagna scored after a successful Admirals penalty kill around the halfway point of period two, and Josh Holmstrom made it a one-goal game with 2:31 left in the frame.
Ken Appleby earned the win in his Everblades debut, stopping 28 of the 31 shots he saw. Brandon Halverson suffered the loss and made 38 saves on 42 shots.
NOTESHunter Garlent and Adam Smith both registered their first career pro points, with both taking place on the same play, the first career ECHL goal by Tanner Jeannot in the first period…Five players notched points in their Everblades debut: Garlent, Jeannot, Smith, Cam Maclise and Michael Huntebrinker…The Blades improved to 17-4-1 in season-opening games and 3-1-0 under head coach Brad Ralph…Florida opened the season on the road for just the seventh time in team history, only the second time in team history the ‘Blades have opened on the road in consecutive seasons. Florida started the 2018-19 campaign in Newfoundland against the Growlers.
NEXT UPFlorida closes out the opening weekend of the season with a 7:35 p.m. ET matchup against the Admirals on Saturday at the Norfolk Scope.
2019-20 Blades 365 Memberships are on sale now!
Get great seat locations, big savings and exclusive year-round experiences with a full season, 24-game or 12-game Blades 365 Membership!
SPECIAL OFFER! Purchase a new Blades 365 Membership for the 2019-20 season and receive a $20 gift card to Ford’s Garage and an Everblades tote bag!
To view the Blades 365 Membership savings, benefits and options 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 Nashville Predators and AHL's Milwaukee Admirals