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PREVIEW: Florida opens series with Jacksonville on Friday

Friday, December 27th
PREVIEW: Florida opens series with Jacksonville on Friday

ESTERO, Fla. — The Florida Everblades (17-8-2-2, 38 pts.) open the final weekend of a three-week homestand with the series opener of a two-game set against the Jacksonville Icemen (9-14-4-0, 22 pts.) on Friday night at Hertz Arena.

VITALS:Game 30: Everblades vs. Jacksonville IcemenWhen: 7:30 p.m. ETWhere: Hertz ArenaTickets: TicketmasterWatch: ECHL TVListen: WJBX (101.5 FM, 104.3 FM, 770 AM)Social: Twitter | InstagramPromotion: 239 Friday

Last time outLevko Koper posted a career-high three-point night (1g-2a), and the ‘Blades scored a season-high four times in the opening period on the way to a 5-2 win over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Saturday at Hertz Arena. Florida scored less than a minute into the game for the second straight contest, as Hugo Roy started the scoring only 57 seconds into the finale of the two-game set with Greenville. Ken Appleby turned out 17 shots for his league-leading 12th win of the year. RECAP | BOX SCORE

Series At A GlanceFriday is the fourth meeting of the season between Florida and Jacksonville and the second tilt at Hertz Arena between the in-state foes. The ‘Blades picked up a 3-2 win in the most recent matchup on Dec. 11 in Jacksonville and have a 1-1-0-1 record against the Icemen this season. Florida has captured wins in 23 of the 30 all-time meetings and owns a 23-4-3 record in the series. The 'Blades have been dominant against Jacksonville at Hertz Arena, with a 13-1-1 record in 15 games. 

Players to WatchZach Magwood (FLA) - Magwood posted his team-leading seventh multi-point game of the season on Saturday and has eight points (5g-3a) and three multi-point games over his last five contests. The second-year pro has done a bulk of his damage over the last month and a half. Magwood posted one multi-point game in his first 14 contests but now has six multi-point efforts over his last 12 games. 

Chase Lang (JAX) - The fourth-year pro leads Jacksonville in scoring with 20 points (8g-12a) in 25 games. He had a mini three-game point streak (3a) before going scoreless in the Icemen's 4-0 loss to Orlando on Thursday. Lang has five multi-point games this season, including a pair of three-point outings. He posted his first three-point game of the year with two goals and an assist against the Everblades on Nov. 9. 

First ImpressionsFlorida has been on a scoring binge in the first period during its current homestand. Through the first five games of the homestand, the ‘Blades have racked up nine 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 50% over its last five games. 

Twice As NiceFlorida scored twice in the first 76 seconds of Saturday's game, and the two tallies came only 19 seconds apart. That was the second time last week the 'Blades scored twice in less than 20 seconds. In last Wednesday's 7-0 win over Atlanta, Florida had a two-goal burst in only 11 seconds in the second period. In fact, the Everblades' three-fastest times for scoring consecutive goals have all come during the current homestand. Florida scored twice in just 10 seconds, a season-best, on Dec. 13 against Kansas City. 

Offensive OutpouringFlorida has picked up the pace on offense over its last five home games, netting 24 total goals in that five-game stretch. Thanks to the strong offensive output over the last two weeks, Florida has jumped into a tie for eighth overall in the ECHL in goals for per game (3.38). After being shut out by South Carolina on Dec. 6, the 'Blades sat 17th in the league in that category, averaging 3.09 goals per contest. Florida ranks ninth overall in shots on goal per game (32.48). 

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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The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and AHL's Milwaukee Admirals

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