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Flying high: 'Blades score six to knock off K-Wings

Thursday, January 16th
Flying high: 'Blades score six to knock off K-Wings

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Five players recorded multiple points to help the Florida Everblades top the Kalamazoo Wings, 6-3, on Wednesday at the Wings Event Center.

BOX SCORE

In the first game of three this week, the Everblades (23-11-2-2, 50 pts.) netted the first three goals of the game and fired 50 shots on goal to beat Kalamazoo (12-19-4-0, 28 pts.) in the first meeting between the teams since April 1, 2017.

On the first possession of the game, Everblades defenseman Patrick McCarron (2a) managed to keep the puck in the zone at the right point to create the first goal. He slipped down the right wall and fed Blake Winiecki at the inside edge of the right circle, and Winiecki beat Kalamazoo goaltender Jake Kielly with a wrist shot over the blocker.

Hunter Garlent (1g, 1a) then increased Florida’s lead to two thanks to a great feed from Levko Koper (2a). Koper led a two-on-one rush, and as he raced down the left-wing wall, he found Garlent crashing through the slot. Garlent tipped in the pass for his sixth goal of the year at the 8:36 mark of the first.

Cam Maclise (1g, 1a) then made it a three-goal lead about four minutes later. He led the charge into the Kalamazoo zone, dropped the puck to Justin Auger (1g, 1a), and then received a return feed from Auger that he buzzed over the blocker of Kielly.

Kalamazoo scored twice on the power play less than two minutes apart in the second to cut the ‘Blades lead to just one. Justin Kovacs scored off a centering pass from Garret Ross at 3:11 of the second period, and Austin Farley punched in a rebound only one minute, 55 seconds later.

Florida responded quickly to go back ahead by two. Garlent managed to thread a pass to Joe Pendenza, and Pendenza put it upstairs for his second goal in as many games at the 7:49 mark of the second.

Again, Kalamazoo whittled its deficit to one on a goal by Kovacs with eight minutes left in regulation, but Florida answered in a hurry to regain control. During a net-mouth scramble, Auger located the loose puck in the low slot and shoveled it past Kielly only one minute, 18 seconds after Kovacs’ goal.

Hugo Roy added an empty-net strike with less than a minute to play, the ninth goal of his rookie season, to help Florida reach the 50-point plateau.

Ken Appleby finished with 20 saves to earn his 15th win of the year.

‘BLADES BITES

  • Florida held a multi-goal lead after the first period for the third time in a road game this season. The last time it happened was against Atlanta on Nov. 16, when Florida led 2-0 after the opening frame.
  • The Everblades scored more than two goals in the first period for only the fourth time this year. The ‘Blades last scored more than two goals in the first period of a road game in their season opener on Oct. 11 against the Norfolk Admirals.
  • After scoring just five combined goals in their previous three games, the ‘Blades put up more than five goals in a game for the fifth time this season.
  • The Everblades’ 50 shots on goal were a season-high. Florida last put up 50 or more shots on goal on Dec. 29, 2018, when it had 60 shots against Greenville.
  • Winiecki and Auger continue to pace the ‘Blades in goals with 15 apiece.
  • Patrick McCarron went without a multi-point game in the first 33 games of the season but now has two multi-point outings in his last five contests.  

NEXT UPFlorida plays again on Thursday, traveling to Indianapolis to face the Indy Fuel. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m. ET at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. 

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