ESTERO, Fla. — The Florida Everblades (14-7-1-2, 31 pts.) host a Mountain Division opponent for the first time in two seasons when they start a two-game series with the Kansas City Mavericks (10-11-2-0, 22 pts.) on Friday night at Hertz Arena.
Last time outJoe Pendenza notched two points (1g-1a) in his Everblades debut and Hunter Garlent scored the go-ahead goal at the 8:37 mark of the third period to lift Florida to a 3-2 win over the Jacksonville Icemen on Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Arena. Leading 2-0 at the outset of the third period, Florida surrendered two goals in a 3:14 span in the first 7:04 of the final frame to fall into a 2-2 tie. But Garlent pushed Florida back ahead on a goal that was reversed after a video review to give the 'Blades their first win against the Icemen this year. Making his third straight start, Ken Appleby stopped 24 shots to earn his ninth win. RECAP | BOX SCORE
Series At A GlanceFriday marks only the third all-time meeting between Florida and Kansas City and the first since the 2017-18 season. Each team has hosted one game in the all-time series, and the road team has earned the victory in both games. Florida picked up a 3-2 win at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena on Feb. 18, 2018, and lost 4-3 in a shootout on Nov. 19, 2016, at Hertz Arena. Florida holds an 82-43-17 record, a winning percentage of .637, against current Western Conference teams.
Player to WatchJohn McCarron - After potting his sixth goal of the season on Wednesday, the 'Blades captain is now on the cusp of a pair of milestones. McCarron, a Macomb, Michigan, native, is now just one goal shy of his 100th career ECHL tally and is two games away from his 200th career Everblades game. He is also rapidly closing in on the top five in several offensive categories for his Everblades career. He is four assists, six goals, and nine points shy of fifth place all-time in Everblades history in all three categories.
As Close As It GetsThe Everblades halted a five-game winless streak in one-goal games with their triumph in overtime on Saturday and have now won consecutive one-goal games. After starting the season with a 5-0-0-0 record in one-goal contests, Florida went 0-2-1-2 in one-goal outings before picking up the 3-2 overtime win over South Carolina. Florida's seven wins in one-goal affairs rank fifth in the league. The 'Blades have had four of their last five games, and six of their last nine contests, decided by one goal.
Leading Through TwoFlorida carried a 2-0 lead into the third period on Wednesday in Jacksonville and has now led at the start of the third period in nine games this year. Although the Icemen tied the score in the third frame, the 'Blades grabbed the lead back to earn the victory and improve to 9-0-0-0 when leading through two periods this season. Dating back to the start of last season, Florida is 50-0-1-0 when leading after two periods. The only loss in that two-year span was a 5-4 overtime setback against Orlando on Oct. 27, 2018, when Florida led 4-2 at the start of the third period.
Short-handed SuccessFlorida netted the first goal against Jacksonville on Wednesday and has now notched the opening goal in eight games this season. Of the eight games where Florida has scored first, seven have come on the road. The 'Blades have registered the first goal of a game in only one of their 10 home games. Florida struck first in its Nov. 22 home tilt against South Carolina but dropped a 3-2 decision that night. With Wednesday's win, Florida is 5-1-0-1 when scoring first on the road.
Next UpThe 'Blades close out their first of three straight weeks at home with a Saturday matchup against Kansas City. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. on the Everblades' Teddy Bear Toss Night.
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