ESTERO, Fla. — The Florida Everblades (15-7-2-2, 34 pts.) start their fourth straight three-game week with a Wednesday night matchup against the Atlanta Gladiators (11-12-0-0, 22 pts.) at Hertz Arena.
VITALS:Game 27: Everblades vs. Atlanta GladiatorsWhen: 7:30 p.m. ETWhere: Hertz ArenaTickets: TicketmasterWatch: ECHL TVListen: WJBX (101.5 FM, 104.3 FM, 770 AM)Social: Twitter | InstagramPromotion: Hump Day Deals
Last time outMichael Huntebrinker scored short-handed with 3:50 left in regulation to help the Everblades force overtime and earn a point in an eventual 5-4 OT loss to the Kansas City Mavericks on Saturday at Hertz Arena. Facing a 3-1 deficit in the second period, Florida recovered to tie the game at three on Cam Maclise's fifth goal of the season 11:55 into the third. Tad Kozun gave the Mavericks a short-lived 4-3 lead with a power-play goal at the 15:17 mark of the third, but Huntebrinker (1g-1a) answered just 53 seconds later to tie it again. Joe Pendenza (2a) had helpers on each of Florida's tying goals in the third. RECAP | BOX SCORE
Series At A GlanceWednesday is just the second meeting between Florida and Atlanta this season and the first matchup of the year between the division foes at Hertz Arena. The 'Blades have only six regular season games against the Gladiators this year, the fewest head-to-head meetings since the two teams met just six times in the 2007-08 campaign. Florida owns a convincing 101-53-15 all-time record against the Gladiators and has been even more dominant since Brad Ralph took over as head coach in the 2016-17 season. The 'Blades are a combined 31-3-0-1 in that four-year stretch.
Players to WatchZach Magwood (FLA) - The second-year pro has been a key offensive figure as of late and has recorded at least one point in eight of his last 11 games. Magwood, who played 11 games for Atlanta last season, notched the Teddy Bear Toss goal on Saturday and has three goals in his last two contests. The Cambridge, Ontario, native has registered seven goals and five assists in his last 11 tilts.
Eric Neiley (ATL) - A native of Warminster Township, Pennsylvania, Neiley is in his second stint with the Gladiators after playing in 108 games for the organization from 2015-17. He played parts of the last two seasons in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) in the United Kingdom and posted 51 points (26g-25a) in 68 games. He currently leads Atlanta in both assists (15) and points (22) this season.
Long Train RunningAppleby has shouldered a bulk of the load in goal lately and is expected to make his sixth straight start and 10th straight appearance on Wednesday. That's by far the longest stretch of consecutive appearances by an Everblades goaltender over the last three seasons. The longest previous stretch of consecutive appearances over the last three seasons was four. Jeremy Helvig started in four straight games from March 2-8, 2019, while Martin Ouellette made four starts in a row from March 10-17, 2018. Appleby is still two starts away from matching the longest stretch of consecutive starts from the last four seasons. Anthony Peters had run of eight consecutive starts from Nov. 19 - Dec. 7, 2016.
In Short, SuccessfulSaturday was only the fourth time in the last two seasons that Florida has failed to win a game in which it tallied a short-handed goal. However, the 'Blades still managed to earn a point on Saturday and have posted an 18-3-1-0 record and an .841 win percentage when they've scored shorthanded since the start of the 2018-19 season. Florida finished third overall in the ECHL with 17 short-handed goals last season and leads the league with 22 short-handed tallies over the last two years.
Overtime OverloadMore than half of Florida's one-goal games have been overtime or shootout affairs. The 'Blades have already played in eight games this season that needed a minimum of overtime to decide the winner. Last season, Florida played in 13 games that went to an extra session and finished with a 7-0-5-1 mark in those games. The 'Blades are currently on pace to play in 22 overtime or shootout affairs this season. The team record for most combined overtime and shootout games in one season is 21. Florida finished with a 12-0-4-5 mark in games that went to overtime or a shootout in the 2009-10 season.
Next UpFlorida hosts the Greenville Swamp Rabbits for the first time this season on Friday. Faceoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. in the opener of a two-game series.
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The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and AHL's Milwaukee Admirals