ESTERO, Fla. — Brandon Fortunato posted five points (1g-4a) and seven different players scored a goal to lead the Florida Everblades to a convincing 7-0 win over the Atlanta Gladiators on Wednesday night at Hertz Arena.
Despite having two of their top three scorers out of the lineup, the Everblades (16-7-2-2, 36 pts.) tied their season-high by scoring four times in the second period en route to their biggest shutout victory since the 2016-17 season.
Making his sixth straight start, Florida goaltender Ken Appleby picked up his first shutout of the season, as he made easy work of the 26 shots the Gladiators (11-13-0-0, 22 pts.) fired his way.
The scoring onslaught began with Fortunato’s first pro goal halfway through the second period. With the ‘Blades set up in the Atlanta end of the ice, Patrick McCarron found his defensive partner drifting to the top of the circles. Fortunato wristed a shot on net that deflected off a man in front and beat the glove of Atlanta goaltender Sean Bonar at the 10:20 mark of the second period.
Hugo Roy, another 'Blades rookie, scored his 4th of the year to put the ‘Blades up two goals just 11 seconds later. Hunter Garlent started the play for the ‘Blades, as he stole a pass in the slot and found himself alone with the netminder. He was tripped up from behind, but Roy scooped up the loose puck and shot it over Bonar, who had dove across his crease to try to poke check the puck away.
Justin Auger put the ‘Blades third goal on the board at 14:19 of the second period when he found a rebound from Cam Maclise's initial shot outside the crease and whacked it past Bonar for the power-play strike.
The ‘Blades final goal of the four-goal burst came at 16:20 of the middle frame off the tape of Zach Magwood, who has been red hot as of late with four goals in his last three games. Similar to the Fortunato goal, Magwood was positioned at the top of the circles. Joe Pendenza slid him a perfect tape-to-tape pass for the one-timer to beat Bonar for the fourth time in the period.
The ‘Blades went on to add another three goals in the third period to cap off their victory. Logan Roe scored off the rush just three seconds after the Everblades' second power play of the night expired. Blake Winiecki added his team-leading 13th goal of the season at 10:14 of the third, and Kyle Neuber scored his first goal of the year in the waning minutes of the game.
- The ‘Blades have won four of their last five games have a five-game point streak (4-0-1-0).
- Brandon Fortunato had a career night, as he scored a goal and added four assists. The five-point total matched the highest-scoring game by a 'Blades player since Steven Lorentz put up five points (1g-4a) on Oct. 20, 2018.
- Blake Winiecki (1g-1a) and Cam Maclise (2a) both had their fifth multi-point efforts of the season.
- Joe Pendenza added an assist and now has points in every game he has played in a ‘Blades sweater, tabbing two goals and four assists in four games.
- The 'Blades are 32-3-0-1 against Atlanta under head coach Brad Ralph and 102-53-15 in the all-time series.
- Florida's seven-goal margin of victory in a shutout was its largest since a 10-0 shutout of the Orlando Solar Bears on April 8, 2017, at Hertz Arena.
- Zach Magwood's three-game goal streak is tied for the longest by a 'Blades player this season. He has 10 points (4g-6a) in his last seven games.
- Logan Roe's goal was his seventh of the season, which tied his career-high from the 2017-18 campaign.
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.
BLADES 365 MEMBERSHIPS Blades 365 Memberships are still on sale for the 2019-20 season! Get great seat locations, big savings and exclusive year-round experiences with a full season, 24-game or 12-game Blades 365 Membership!
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.
SWAMPEE'S STOCKING STUFFERGet a 12-game voucher package, an autographed game program, autographed hockey sock, an Everblades clear bag, an Everblades mug, and a $20 Ford's Garage gift card starting as low as $156! FOLLOW THE 'BLADESStay up to date with all the latest in news, scores, and promotions by following the 'Blades on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and AHL's Milwaukee Admirals