ESTERO, Fla. — John McCarron matched his career-high with four assists, and the Florida Everblades scored four of the final five goals of the game to earn a 6-2 win over the Jacksonville Icemen on Friday night at Hertz Arena.
In the first game of two-game series with Jacksonville (9-15-4-0, 22 pts.), the Everblades (18-8-2-2, 40 pts.) scored more than three goals for the fifth time in their last six games and improved to 6-1-1 in their last eight contests.
The ‘Blades broke onto the scoreboard at 12:16 of the first period with Levko Koper’s second goal in as many games. Joe Pendenza started a two-on-one rush for the ‘Blades. As he crossed the line, Pendenza hit the brakes in the right circle and sent a pass to Koper in the slot. Koper took the puck to his backhand and went between the wickets of Jacksonville goaltender Adam Carlson.
Arvin Atwal then scored in the last minute of the opening period for the second straight game to increase Florida’s lead to two. Zach Magwood used his speed to draw attention from the Icemen, allowing Atwal to come into the zone unprotected. A drop pass from Magwood found Atwal for a bomb of a slapshot that beat Carlson’s glove clean to make it 2-0.
Jacksonville whittled into the ‘Blades lead with a power-play goal from Bobby Lynch 2:25 into the second period, but Florida then scored three of the final four goals of the middle frame to take control of the game.
Defenseman Logan Roe went coast to coast to score what turned out to be the game-winner at 13:53 of the second period. Entering the offensive zone with speed, Roe beat his man to the outside. He was tripped up, but he kept control of the puck on his backhand from the seat of his pants and went to the forehand to score his eighth goal of the season, a new career-high.
After the Icemen pulled within one again on a goal from Emerson Clark, Hugo Roy responded with his seventh goal of the season to reinstate the two-goal edge with 2:45 left in the second period. Atwal scored his second of the night just 12 seconds later, hammering a blast from the right point through traffic to beat Carlson.
The ‘Blades added a power-play goal at 12:12 of the third to top off their 6-2 victory. Shortly after John McCarron rang a shot off the crossbar, he slapped a pass to Cam Maclise in front of the crease for a redirection that beat the glove of Carlson.
Florida goaltender Ken Appleby finished with 30 saves to earn his league-leading 13th win of the season. He has started in nine straight contests and has appeared in 13 consecutive games.
- The ‘Blades have scored 30 goals in their past six games, good for an average of 5.00 goals per game. With that scoring binge over the last six games, Florida has jumped from an average of 3.09 goals per game to 3.47 goals per game.
- John McCarron has tallied eight assists in his past three games, and his four-point night moved him into sole possession of fifth place in franchise history for career points (205). McCarron has achieved his career-high of four points on five occasions.
- Patrick McCarron assisted on Florida’s first goal and has assists in four straight games and points in a career-high seven consecutive games.
- Adam Smith posted an assist and finished with a career-high plus-minus rating of +4.
- After going 15 games without a goal to start the season, Arvin Atwal now has four tallies in his last six games.
- ‘Blades rookie Hugo Roy ran his team season-high goal streak to four games with his seventh goal of the season.
Next UpThe Everblades close out the seven-game homestand and 2019 calendar year with the series finale against Jacksonville on Saturday at 7 p.m.
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