TOLEDO, Ohio — The Florida Everblades (4-3-0-0, 8 pts.) aim to close their first three-game week of the season with a victory when they face the Toledo Walleye (4-1-0-0, 8 pts.) on Saturday night at the Huntington Center.
Last time outFlorida scored the first two goals of the game, but the Fort Wayne Komets put up four unanswered tallies to top the Everblades, 4-2, on Friday night at Memorial Coliseum. Defensemen Patrick McCarron and Michael Downing both had their first goals of the season for Florida to stake it out to a 2-0 lead less than four minutes into the second period. 'Blades goaltender Cam Johnson turned aside a career-high 36 shots in goal, but his efforts just fell short in Florida's second straight loss. Taylor Ross scored the game-winning goal for Fort Wayne with 5:38 left in regulation, the latest goal Florida has yielded this season. RECAP | BOX SCORE
Series historySaturday will be the first matchup between Florida and Toledo since the 2016-17 season when the two teams squared off twice in Toledo. The Walleye won both games of that two-game series at the Huntington Center by 6-4 and 8-2 scores. Although the 'Blades have the edge in the all-time series with a 15-9-3 mark against the Walleye, Toledo has had the upper hand in recent history, winning six of the last seven contests. Nearly half of the 27 total meetings came in the Walleye's first two years in the ECHL, as the two teams met 13 times from 2009-11.
Players to WatchLogan Roe (FLA) - After putting up a career-high 28 assists and 32 points last season, Roe has been off to a strong start offensively in his fifth season with the Everblades. The Fort Myers, Florida, native has averaged nearly a point per game through seven tilts, racking up two goals and four assists. He has tabbed points in consecutive games to start the weekend and has two multi-point games already this season.
TJ Hensick (TOL) – The 33-year-old has paced Toledo's offense through the team's first five games and has a team-best eight assists and nine points. Hensick, who is in his 13th season as a pro, is Toledo's captain this year and is coming off his first full season in the ECHL. He put up 17 goals and 41 assists for 58 points in 2018-19. Hensick also brings NHL experience to the table and has suited up in 112 career NHL games, posting 12 goals and 38 points in his NHL career.
Close CallsAll but one of Florida's seven games have been decided by less than three goals. The Everblades have taken part in two one-goal games and four two-goal affairs. Though they won't go down as one-goal decisions, Florida's first two games of this week were essentially one-goal games that included an empty-net tally in the final minute of both tilts. Florida went 12-9-5-1 in one-goal games last season and had a stellar 13-3-0-0 mark in games decided by two goals.
Role ReversalFlorida's loss on Friday to Fort Wayne was the first time since mid-February of last season that it lost a game in which it led by two goals at any point. The Everblades went ahead 2-0 in the second period on Friday thanks to Patrick McCarron's goal less than four minutes into the frame, but the Komets then scored the final four goals of the contest. Florida fell to Manchester, 4-3, on Feb. 16, 2019, a game the 'Blades also led by two goals in the second period.
On the BoardFriday was the first time this season that Florida had scored the first goal of the game. Last season, the Everblades scored first in 42 of the 72 regular season games and held a 33-5-4 record in the contests they scored first in. Until Friday, Florida was the only team in the ECHL that had not tabbed the first goal of a game.
Next UpFlorida returns to Southwest Florida for its longest homestand of the season so far, a four-game stretch at Hertz Arena over the next week and a half. That homestand starts with a Wednesday night matchup against the Orlando Solar Bears. Faceoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.
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