ESTERO, Fla. — Riding a season-high five-game point streak, the Florida Everblades (16-7-2-2, 36 pts.) continue a three-game week with the first game of a two-game series against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (13-13-0-1, 27 pts.) on Friday at Hertz Arena.
VITALS:Game 28: Everblades vs. Greenville Swamp RabbitsWhen: 7:30 p.m. ETWhere: Hertz ArenaTickets: TicketmasterWatch: ECHL TV (ECHL Game of the Week)Listen: WJBX (101.5 FM, 104.3 FM, 770 AM)Social: Twitter | InstagramPromotion: 239 Friday
Last time outBrandon Fortunato had five points (1g-4a) and seven different players notched a goal to lead the Everblades to a 7-0 win over the Atlanta Gladiators on Wednesday at Hertz Arena. After a scoreless first period, Florida matched its season-high with a four-goal period in the second frame. The ‘Blades also had goals from Zach Magwood, Logan Roe, Justin Auger, Hugo Roy, Blake Winiecki and Kyle Neuber. Ken Appleby posted 26 saves in his first shutout of the season. RECAP | BOX SCORE
Series At A GlanceFriday is just the second meeting of the season between the ‘Blades and Swamp Rabbits and the first matchup between the division foes at Hertz Arena. Florida holds a 54-31-15 all-time record against Greenville and has a 16-game winning streak in the series that dates back to the middle of the 2017-18 season. The Swamp Rabbits last beat Florida on Feb. 2, 2018, a 4-3 shootout win at Hertz Arena. Greenville's last regulation win against the 'Blades was a 5-2 victory on March 10, 2017, at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Players to WatchBrandon Fortunato (FLA) - Not only did the rookie defenseman score his first pro goal on Wednesday against Atlanta, but he set a team season-high with five points, which was also an individual career-high. The North Hills, New York, native entered Wednesday's game with five points (5a) and effectively doubled his point output for the season with the five-point game. Fortunato put up 76 points (16g-60a) in 142 career NCAA games, which he split between Quinnipiac University and Boston University.
Liam Pecararo (GVL) - The rookie forward is tied for second in the league in goal scoring with 15 tallies. Pecararo has notched multiple goals in three games this season, including his first career hat trick against Atlanta on Oct. 26. Pecararo has posted multiple points in eight of the 23 games he's played in. He put up 30 points (11g-19a) in 37 games as a senior at Northeastern University last season.
Seventh HeavenFlorida's seven-goal margin of victory in Wednesday's shutout was tied for the seventh-highest winning margin in a shutout in team history. The seven-goal shutout win was Florida's biggest since a 10-0 drubbing of Orlando on April 8, 2017. The 'Blades largest margin of victory in a shutout in team history was a 12-0 win over the Augusta Lynx on Nov. 22, 2008.
Home Cookin'Florida has really picked up the pace on offense over its last three home games, netting 16 total goals in that three-game stretch. The current stretch directly follows a four-game span of home games from Nov. 22-Dec. 7 where Florida mustered only five total goals. The 'Blades tabbed three or more goals just twice in their first 10 home games but have now notched four or more goals in three straight home tilts.
First Period WoesThe first period has been a problematic period for the Swamp Rabbits. Greenville has surrendered a league-high 37 goals in the opening frame and is a -10-goal differential in the first period, the second-worst first-period scoring margin in the ECHL.
Next UpThe Everblades close out a stretch of four straight three-game weeks with the series finale against Greenville on Saturday at 7 p.m.
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