ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida Everblades (8-4-0-0, 16 pts.) continue a four-game week with their first of three road games, facing the Orlando Solar Bears (3-6-1-1, 8 pts.) for the second straight night on Thursday at the Amway Center.
Last time outTrailing by a goal entering the second period, Florida scored the final five goals of the game to earn a 5-1 victory over the Solar Bears on Wednesday at Hertz Arena. Five different players found the back of the net for Florida, and Cam Maclise (1g-1a), Logan Roe (1g-1a), and Alex Tonge (2a) all netted multi-point efforts to help the 'Blades improve to 5-1-0-0 on home ice. Michael Downing, Michael Huntebrinker and Blake Winiecki had the other tallies for Florida, while John McCarron notched an assist to extend his point streak to seven games, which is tied for a career-high. Ken Appleby picked up his third straight win by yielding only one goal for the second consecutive start. RECAP | BOX SCORE
Series At A GlanceThursday's game is the final tilt of a heavy stretch of games between Orlando and Florida, as the in-state rivals meet for the fourth time in the last nine days. Oddly enough, following Thursday's game, the Everblades will not play the Solar Bears again until Feb. 5. Florida has posted a 4-1-0-0 record against Orlando this season, with the only loss coming at the Amway Center on Oct. 25. Florida holds an all-time record of 65-25-7 against the Solar Bears, including a 31-15-2-2 record in Orlando.
Players to WatchAlex Tonge (FLA) - After missing four games as a healthy scratch, Tonge stepped up in a big way on Wednesday night and posted two assists to earn the third star of the game. Last season, he tabbed eight points (5g-3a) in just five games after finishing a four-year collegiate career at Robert Morris University. He went on to suit up in 13 games for Florida in the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs and recorded two goals and two assists. The Kingston, Ontario, native totaled 138 points (56g-82a) in 146 games at Robert Morris.
Cody Donaghey (ORL) – The defenseman is Orlando's leading returning scorer from last season and put up 43 points (15g-28a) in 64 games for the Solar Bears in 2018-19. After registering eight points (4g-4a) in 11 head-to-head matchups against the 'Blades last year, Donaghey had his first point of the season series against Florida on Wednesday with his second goal of the season.
Offensive AttackThe Everblades' five-goal output on Wednesday tied their season-high for goals in a game, while their four-goal margin of victory was their largest in a game this season. Florida had tabbed just nine goals in the second period through its first 10 games, but the 'Blades have now broken out for three goals in the middle frame in each of their last two games. Last season, Florida scored 100 goals in the second period and was the only team in the ECHL that eclipsed the 100-goal mark in any one period.
Keep it to TwoThe Everblades' defensive efforts have been a key indicator of outcomes so far this season. When Florida has limited an opponent to less than three goals it has put up a record of 8-0-0-0. However, Florida is winless (0-4-0-0) when it has surrendered more than three goals. Along those lines, the 'Blades are 6-2-0-0 when they limit an opponent to less than 30 shots on goal.
First BloodAlthough the 'Blades hold a 4-1-0-0 record against the Solar Bears this season, they have yet to score the first goal in any of the five matchups. In fact, Wednesday was the first time in the season series that Florida has held a lead prior to the third period. The 'Blades either trailed or were tied at zero with the Solar Bears through two periods of the first four meetings. The 'Blades have allowed the first goal in four straight games and have tallied first in only two of their 12 games this season.
Next UpFlorida has a day off on Friday before it resumes its four-game week with a Saturday night matchup in Atlanta against the Gladiators. Faceoff is slated for 7:05 p.m. ET on Saturday at Infinite Energy Arena.
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