ESTERO, Fla. – The Florida Everblades (39-18-3-2) punched their ticket to the 2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs with a 6-2 win over the Jacksonville Icemen (31-27-3-3) on Saturday night at Hertz Arena. Florida is the first team in the Eastern Conference to clinch a playoff berth and maintain their hold on the top seed. Forward Alex Kile led the Blades with two goals and an assist in the clinching effort.
FIRST STAR: Alex Kile (FLA) - two goals, one assist, +2, six shots
SECOND STAR: Colby Sissons (FLA) - one goal, one assist, +1, two shots
THIRD STAR: Devin Cooley (FLA) - 33 saves
Florida opened the scoring late in the first period with a power-play goal from Colby Sissons (18:10). The defenseman fired a seeing-eye shot from the blue line through traffic to give the Blades a 1-0 lead.
Just over four minutes into the second period, Sissons threaded a pass through the neutral zone to spring Myles Powell on a breakaway. Powell pulled the puck to his backhand and flicked it past Jacksonville goaltender Charles Williams to give the Blades a 2-0 edge (4:16).
Florida took a 3-0 lead in the middle of the second when Alex Kile netted his 21st goal of the season on a sneaky wrister past Williams (10:41).
Two-and-a-half minutes later, Pascal Aquin put Jacksonville on the board with a power-play score (13:11).
The Everblades bagged another tally in the closing seconds of the middle period. Immediately following a power play, Hugo Roy dangled through Icemen defenders in the low slot and fed the puck to the back post for Alex Kile to cache for his second of the night (19:25).
Jacksonville opened the third period with a goal from Ara Nazarian after the Icemen forward banked a shot off of Florida goaltender Devin Cooley and into the net (00:38).
Cooley and the Blades held off the Jacksonville offense for the rest of the third, and Florida topped off the victory with a pair of empty-net goals from Blake Winiecki (17:03) and Myles Powell (18:20). Cooley earned his 10th win of the season and stopped 33 of 35 Jacksonville shots.
The Everblades hit the ice next on Tuesday, May 25 at 7:00 p.m. on the road against the Jacksonville Icemen. After the weekday tilt in Jacksonville, Florida heads to Orlando to square off against the Solar Bears three times over the weekend. The Everblades and Solar Bears meet first on Friday, May 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Amway Center in downtown Orlando. The two clubs meet again the next night on Saturday, May 29 at 7:00 p.m., followed by a 3:00 p.m. puck drop on Sunday, May 30.
The next home game for the Everblades comes on Wednesday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Hertz Arena.
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Purchase a new Ticket Package or Flexible Voucher Package for the Blades 2021-22 season and receive a $20 gift card to Ford’s Garage along with an Everblades tote bag! To view the Blades 365 Membership savings, benefits and options click 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.