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PREVIEW: 'Blades finish homestand with series finale against Icemen

Saturday, December 28th
PREVIEW: 'Blades finish homestand with series finale against Icemen

ESTERO, Fla. — In search of their seventh win in their last nine games, the Florida Everblades (18-8-2-2, 40 pts.) close a seven-game homestand with the series finale against the Jacksonville Icemen (9-15-4-0, 22 pts.) on Saturday at Hertz Arena. 

VITALS:Game 31: Everblades vs. Jacksonville IcemenWhen: 7 p.m. ETWhere: Hertz ArenaTickets: TicketmasterWatch: ECHL TVListen: WJBX (101.5 FM, 104.3 FM, 770 AM)Social: Twitter | InstagramPromotion: Joker vs. Batman Night

Last time outEverblades captain John McCarron matched his career-high with a four-assist game, and Florida scored four of the final five goals of the game to top the Icemen, 6-2, on Friday at Hertz Arena. Arvin Atwal (2g) became the second ‘Blades defenseman to post a multi-goal game this season, while Logan Roe (1g-1a) and Levko Koper (1g-1a) also chipped in multi-point efforts. With his goal, Roe established a new career-high, surpassing his previous career-high of seven from the 2017-18 season. In his ninth straight start, Ken Appleby made 30 saves to keep pace for the league lead in wins (13). RECAP | BOX SCORE

Series At A GlanceSaturday is the fifth meeting of the season between Florida and Jacksonville and the third tilt at Hertz Arena between the in-state foes. The ‘Blades have earned two straight wins in the series and have a 2-1-0-1 record against the Icemen this season. Florida has captured wins in 24 of the 31 all-time meetings and owns a 24-4-3 record in the series. The 'Blades have been dominant against Jacksonville at Hertz Arena, with a 14-1-1 record in 16 games. 

Players to WatchHugo Roy (FLA) - Roy's four-game goal streak is the longest by a 'Blades player this season and ties the longest goal streak by a Florida player over the last two seasons. The rookie forward had one goal in his first 17 games this season, but he has now potted six goals over his last 11 contests. He has nine points (7g-2a) this season in 28 games. 

Michael McNiven (JAX) - After Adam Carlson started in the first four games against Florida this season, McNiven is projected to get his first start against the 'Blades on Saturday. The third-year pro sits fifth in the ECHL in goals-against average with a solid 2.19 mark. McNiven played four games with the Adirondack Thunder to start the season and has appeared in nine games with the Icemen. He has yielded two goals or fewer in six of his nine appearances with Jacksonville. 

Big MackJohn McCarron moved into sole possession of fifth place in franchise history for career points with his four-point night on Friday. He started the night in seventh place for career points but jumped both Matt Demarski (203 pts.) and Brent McDonald (204 pts.) by tying his career-high for assists in a game. A fifth-year pro, McCarron missed his only game of the season last Wednesday against Atlanta, but he now has eight points (8a) in his last three games since returning to the lineup. 

Double TimePrior to the start of this homestand, Florida had scored consecutive goals in less than a minute four times through its first 24 games. The 'Blades have now achieved that feat four times during the current homestand, and their four fastest consecutive goals have all come during that stretch at home. Hugo Roy and Arvin Atwal tallied only 22 seconds apart in Friday's win. The 'Blades established a season-best with two goals only 10 seconds apart in a 5-3 win over Kansas City on Dec. 13, while they scored twice in less than 20 seconds against Atlanta last Wednesday (11 seconds) and Greenville last Saturday (19 seconds). 

Starting StrongFlorida has been on a scoring binge in the first period during its current homestand. Through the first six games of the homestand, the ‘Blades have racked up 11 goals in the opening frame. Prior to the homestand, the 'Blades had scored 17 goals in the first period through their first 24 games. Florida has increased its first-period scoring output by more than 60% over its last six games. 

Next UpFlorida starts a long stretch of road games with a Friday night matchup against the South Carolina Stingrays. The 'Blades are on the road for eight of their next nine games. 

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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.FOLLOW THE 'BLADESStay up to date with all the latest in news, scores, and promotions by following the 'Blades on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter

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