ESTERO, Fla. — The Florida Everblades drop the puck on their 22nd season of ECHL play on Friday night with a road matchup against the Norfolk Admirals at the Norfolk Scope.
Last time outFlorida closed out the preseason with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Orlando Solar Bears last Saturday night at Hertz Arena. Down by two entering the third period, Florida scored three times in the third to force overtime before winning with 1:32 left in overtime on Michael Huntebrinker's power-play goal. John McCarron, Adam Smith and Tanner Jeannot had the regulation tallies for Florida. RECAP | BOX SCORE
Series historyThe two sides met eight times a year ago but will only square off on four occasions in the regular season this year. The limited meetings are front-loaded, too. Florida's first three games are against the Admirals, including the 'Blades home opener next Saturday. However, the final meeting between the division foes won't come until late February. The Everblades finished with a 6-1-1 overall mark against the Admirals last season and a 2-0-1 record at the Norfolk Scope. Florida holds a stark advantage in the all-time series, with a 16-2-3 mark against Norfolk since the Admirals joined the ECHL in 2014-15.
Players to WatchCam Maclise (FLA) - One of the big offseason acquisitions for the Everblades, Maclise split last season between the ECHL and the AHL. In 34 ECHL contests in 2018-19, the Camrose, Alberta, native logged 12 goals and 20 points. He had five multi-point games in the ECHL a year ago, including his first career pro hat trick on Feb. 2 against Norfolk.
Christian Horn (NOR) - Horn is in his second stint with the Admirals after spending most of the 2018-19 campaign with the South Carolina Stingrays. Horn, who played 44 games for Norfolk in the 2017-18 campaign, returned to the Admirals at the end of last season, suiting up in 13 contests after being picked up from the Stingrays in early March. He tabbed 29 points (11g-18a) in 56 total ECHL games last year.
On the Road AgainFriday's tilt in Norfolk marks the second straight season Florida has opened up on the road, which has been a relatively infrequent endeavor in the team's history. Florida began last season on the road against the Newfoundland Growlers but hadn't started the season away from Southwest Florida in the previous eight years before that.
Season-Opening SuccessDespite the season-opening loss to Newfoundland last season, the Everblades have an impeccable record in season openers through the franchise's first 21 seasons in the ECHL. Prior to the loss to the Growlers, the 'Blades had won 11 straight season openers dating back to the 2007-08 season. Florida has registered a 16-4-1 mark in season-opening games and has lost season openers in consecutive seasons only once (2005-06 & 2006-07).
Familiar FacesFlorida has nine players on its season-opening roster that played in at least five games with the team a season ago. Including forward Kyle Neuber, who suited up with the 'Blades in the 2017-18 season, there are 10 players who have played previously for the team, combining for 743 games of experience with the organization. Defenseman Logan Roe (247 gp) and forward John McCarron (174 gp) lead the way with the most games played for the organization.
Next UpFlorida closes out its opening weekend of the season with the series finale against the Admirals on Saturday at 7:35 p.m.
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The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and AHL's Milwaukee Admirals