ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades (29-10-0-2) grabbed two of three games against the Wheeling Nailers (10-23-5-0) with a 5-3 win at Hertz Arena on Saturday night. Hugo Roy led Florida with three points (1g-2a) and goaltender Jake Hildebrand had 37 saves on 40 shots faced en route to his 15th win of the season.
FIRST STAR: Hugo Roy (FLA) - one goal, two assists, +1, three shots
SECOND STAR: Alex Kile (FLA) - one goal, one assist, +1, one shot
THIRD STAR: Jake Hildebrand (FLA) - 37 saves on 40 shots faced
Florida and Wheeling played to a scoreless first frame. In the first 20 minutes, the Nailers had 11 shots on goal, while the Blades were held to seven shots.
A call and response theme emerged in the middle frame, as the second period saw a flurry of goals for both clubs. While Florida was on the power play, Colby Sissons snapped a shot from the point, but was blocked by a Wheeling player. Eventually, Pendenza regained possession and dished it out to Huntebrinker near the right circle, who buried his 22nd tally of the season (2:10).Wheeling quickly responded less than a minute later. Joshua Winquist drove into the slot and ripped a wrist shot to tie the game at one a piece (3:53).
Florida netted their second tally off of a quick build up out of their defensive zone. Max Cook carried the puck down the near wing and found Blake Winiecki crashing into the slot to finish the play (10:27). Then at the 12:27 mark, Wheeling forward Cody Sylvester grabbed a shorthanded goal, when he knocked Myles Powell off of the puck in Florida’s defensive zone (12:27).
Early in the third period, Powell cashed in to put the Everblades ahead by a goal. Posted at the crease, Hugo Roy settled down a shot from Max Cook to set up Powell for the one-time finish (3:49). A few minutes later, Alex Kile secured a goal to give Florida some breathing room. Matt Petgrave shoveled the puck towards goal, then Kile found the back of the net off of the rebound (7:55).
Wheeling would not go quietly. Patrick McNally scored from the point to make it 4-3 (17:54). However, Florida ultimately sealed the game with an empty netter from Hugo Roy (19:09).
The Florida Everblades will travel to the Orlando Solar Bears for a trio of games next weekend. Then, the Blades will return to Hertz Arena on Wednesday, Apr. 7 at 7:30 p.m. to face the Jacksonville Icemen. Enjoy Hump Day Deals at Wednesday’s game! $3 Bud Light Drafts, $3 Barefoot Wine, $3 John Morrell Hot Dogs, and $4 New Amsterdam and Pink Whitney Vodka! Calling all College Students – Show your College ID at the Hertz Arena Box Office and receive $5 tickets at every Blades Wednesday Night home game!
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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.