ESTERO, Fla. – A busy four-game week is upon us as the Florida Everblades return home to Hertz Arena for a single game on Wednesday, only to hit the road to visit a couple of south division rivals next weekend.
After winning three games in three days in New England this past weekend, the Blades will make a quick pitstop to entertain the Orlando Solar Bears on home ice Wednesday, November 10 at 7:30 pm. Florida then hits the road for a pair of 7:05 pm contests against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12 and a 3:00 pm tilt at the Atlanta Gladiators on Sunday, November 13.
The Everblades find themselves in a November that features nine of 12 games away from Hertz Arena, but the Blades will be back in Estero for home games on Wednesday, November 17 against Orlando at 7:30 pm and Saturday, November 20 versus Jacksonville at 7:00 pm.
Remember, every Wednesday home game at The Swamp features some awesome Hump Day deals, including $3 John Morrell hot dogs and Bud Lights. Also, college students can show a valid student ID at the box office to purchase a student ticket for only $5! Tickets can be purchased HERE.
Read more about the Blades’ busy promotional schedule and great deals HERE.
ON ICE THIS WEEK
Wed, Nov 10: Everblades vs. Orlando, Hertz Arena — 7:30 pmFri, Nov 12: Everblades @ Greenville, Bon Secours Wellness Arena — 7:05 pmSat, Nov 13: Everblades @ Greenville, Bon Secours Wellness Arena — 7:05 pmSun, Nov 14: Everblades @ Atlanta, Gas South Arena — 3:00 pm
NEWS AND NOTES
LOOK BACK AT LAST WEEK: The Everblades found the crisp New England fall weather to their liking, as the squad picked up three wins in three days over the season’s first road trip, scoring four goals in each of the three victories. Florida skated past the Maine Mariners 4-1 to open the trip on Friday. Winning ways followed the Everblades to Worcester, as the team hung a 4-2 victory on the Railers on Saturday and followed with a 4-1 win over the same foes on Sunday. The three straight wins improved the Blades’ record to 4-2-0-1, which stands second in the south division, just one point behind first-place Norfolk, and third-best in the Eastern Conference.
THIS WEEK’S RIVALS: The Orlando Solar Bears will make their first regular-season visit to Hertz Arena Wednesday night at 7:30 pm. Currently sitting in sixth place in the South Division with a 2-2-1-0 record, Orlando is coming off back-to-back losses at first-place Norfolk. The Solar Bears dropped a 3-1 decision on Thursday and fell 6-5 in overtime on Friday, squandering a 4-1 lead after one period.Following the Orlando game, the Everblades will get their first look at the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. At 1-4-0-0, Greenville finds itself in seventh place in the South Division. The teams will square off for a pair of 7:05 pm games on Friday and Saturday.
Before returning to Southwest Florida, the Everblades will make a quick pit stop in Atlanta to face the Gladiators Sunday at 3:00 pm. Atlanta has won three games in a row to open the season with a 3-1-0-0 record and is currently in fourth place in the South Division.
OBSERVING ORLANDO: The ECHL affiliate of the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning and the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, the Solar Bears logged a 36-29-7 record in 2020-21 and failed to qualify for the ECHL Kelly Cup playoffs. The Bears’ last taste of playoff hockey came in 2018-19 when they were eliminated in the divisional finals. Orlando’s Aaron Luchuk leads all ECHL scorers with 12 points (5 G, 7 A), while ranking third in the circuit in assists. Behind Luchuk, the Solar Bears rank eighth among ECHL offenses with 3.60 tallies per game, scoring 18 times in five contests. Orlando ranks 23rd in scoring defense at 3.80 goals per game, however, giving up 19 goals in five games. As a team, Orlando features the top power-play unit in the ECHL, converting 35.0% of its opportunities (7-for-20), while also ranking sixth in penalty killing at 87.5% (14-for-16).
GRADING GREENVILLE: The ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, the Swamp Rabbits posted a 38-19-15 record in 2020-21 and advanced all the way to the East Conference Finals in their first playoff appearance since 2016-17. Greenville goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick finds himself in eighth place among ECHL goalies with a 1.52 GAA. Before erupting for five goals in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta, the Swamp Rabbits had struggled to find the net this season, registering just seven goals in their first four games. They currently rank 25th in the league with 2.40 goals per game. On the defensive end, Greenville ranks 15th in the ECHL, allowing 16 goals in five games for an average of 3.20 per contest. In special team situations, Greenville stands ninth of 27 ECHL clubs on the power play (20.8%; 5-for-34) and ranks 16th in penalty killing at 82.4% (14-for-17).
ANALYZING ATLANTA: The ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators and the AHL’s Belleville Senators, the Gladiators did not compete in 2020-21. Atlanta’s last ECHL playoff appearance came in 2017-18. Gladiator netminder Tyler Parks ranks sixth among all ECHL goalies with a 1.50 GAA. On the attack, the Gladiators are averaging 4.00 goals per game, which is fourth in the circuit. Defensively, Atlanta stands 11th in the league, allowing 3.00 goals per game, permitting 12 goals in four contests. Among ECHL teams, Atlanta stands 21st overall on the power play (14.3%; 2-for-14) and 26th overall in penalty killing (65%; 13-for-20).
HOW WE DOIN’?: The Everblades have enjoyed great success over the course of history against the three south region rivals on this week’s docket, posting an overall combined record of 257-123-41, good for a .659 winning percentage. Florida sports an 86-33-10 (.705) all-time record against Orlando, a 67-36-16 (.630) mark versus Greenville and a 104-54-15 (.645) tally in games against Atlanta.BIG WEEKEND FOR WINIECKI: Blake Winiecki enjoyed a monster weekend in New England, scoring five goals and recording two assists while leading the Everblades to three straight victories. With a pair of two-goal games in back-to-back victories over Worcester to close out the road trip, Winiecki posted the second and third two-goal games by an Everblade this season, matching John McCarron’s output in Florida’s 5-4 win over Norfolk on October 27. Winiecki has had a penchant for two-goal games during his time with the Blades, as he has now doubled up 12 times in 128 career games for the Everblades. The Lakeville, Minnesota native achieved the feat twice this season and last season, three times in 2019-20 and five times back in 2018-19.
CHECKING IN ON CAPTAIN EVERBLADE: With a goal and an assist in Sunday’s victory, Florida captain John McCarron continues his climb towards the top of the Everblades’ career leaders list. McCarron is tied with Blake Winiecki for the team lead with nine points, while he paces the club along with Jake McLaughlin with five assists. With four goals, McCarron is second on the squad, just two behind Winiecki, who has six. While donning a Blades sweater, McCarron has 126 career regular-season goals, third-most in franchise history. The captain is just 19 goals shy of Reggie Berg’s all-time mark of 145. He also ranks fourth in Blades history with 168 regular-season assists, just 39 shy of Tom Buckley’s team record of 207.
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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.