ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades (22-8-0-2) got back in the win column with a 4-2 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays (12-11-6-2) at Hertz Arena on Wednesday night. Alex Kile led Florida with two second-period goals and an assist, while John McCarron, Colby Sissons, and Cody Sol all grabbed multiple points as well. The win snapped a four-game winless streak for the Blades.
FIRST STAR: Alex Kile (FLA) - two goals, one assist, +2, five shots
SECOND STAR: John McCarron (FLA) - one goal, one assist, +3, five shots
THIRD STAR: Jake Hildebrand (FLA) - 33 saves
A wild first period started when Andrew Cherniwchan stole a shorthanded goal for South Carolina and wrapped the puck around Jake Hildebrand and gave the Rays a 1-0 lead in the first period (7:22).
Following the Stingrays shorty, Florida used the man-advantage to mount pressure in the attacking zone. Seconds after the penalty ended, John McCarron tossed a pass across the slot to Myles Powell who shoveled it into the top corner of the net (8:04).
Powell had not played since the Jan. 8 matchup against Orlando, and missed 20 games while on the injured reserve. The forward now has points in his last six games (4g-6a), including the last five before he left the lineup due to injury.
Minutes later in the first period, John McCarron sniped the top left corner on Stingrays goaltender Hunter Shepard to give the Blades a 2-1 advantage (14:39). The tally marked McCarron’s 290th career point with the Everblades. That figure places McCarron in sole possession of fourth place all-time in Everblades points (including playoffs) and moves him ahead of Florida legend Ernie Hartlieb and his 289 career Everblades points.
Max Novak quickly responded with a goal for South Carolina just 27 seconds after McCarron moved up in the Everblades record books (15:06).
Alex Kile took over in the second period with a pair of goals to propel Florida. Kile first deflected a Cody Sol shot past Shepard’s glove to put the Blades up 3-2 (4:35). Then, on a solo mission in the offensive end, Kile torched the net with a snap shot through two South Carolina defenders for his second of the evening (11:57). Kile’s two second-period scores were his 10th and 11th tallies of the season, and he joins John McCarron and Michael Huntebrinker on the double-digit goal plateau for Florida.
Newcomer Max Cook played in his first game with the Everblades on Wednesday. Cook finished his first game with Florida with a team-high six shots.
After giving up two first period goals, Florida goaltender Jake Hildebrand settled in and held the Stingrays scoreless on 24 shots through the second and third periods. Hildebrand finished the game with 33 saves and scratched his eighth win of the season.
First Responders Weekend kicks off when Florida and South Carolina meet again at Hertz Arena on Friday, Mar. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy 239 Fridays! Get two premium seats, two build-your-own nachos, AND two autographed programs for only $39! Take advantage of the 239 Fridays online only offer at FloridaEverblades.com/239. Kids 12 and under eat free with purchase of an adult entree at Breakaway Sports Pub, located inside Hertz Arena. Find tickets for the game on Mar. 12HERE.
We will honor all of the first responders who work tirelessly, especially throughout the pandemic, on First Responders Weekend presented by Cape Coral Firefighters and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The Blades will don specialty first responders’ jerseys on both Friday, Mar. 12 and Saturday, Mar. 13. Net proceeds from the jersey auction will be donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. To bid on a jersey today, visit HERE!
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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.