ESTERO, Fla. – The start of a new month means the start of a new rivalry for the first-place Florida Everblades, as the Trois-Rivières Lions make their first-ever appearance at Hertz Arena. The Lions will be in Southwest Florida for three games starting Wednesday night at 7:30 pm, continuing Thursday at 7:30 pm, and wrapping up Saturday at 7:00 pm.One of two new ECHL expansion teams for 2021-22, Trois-Rivières is the ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens and the AHL’s Laval Rocket.The Everblades return home after a short three-game jaunt to Jacksonville in which they claimed four of a possible six points, including a big 3-1 victory Saturday night after picking up single points in setbacks during a shootout on Wednesday and in overtime on Friday.
ON ICE THIS WEEK
Wednesday, December 1 Everblades vs. Trois Rivières Hertz Arena 7:30 pmPROMOTION: 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 or online HERE to purchase a student ticket for only $5. To purchase tickets, visit HERE.
Thursday, December 2 Everblades vs. Trois Rivières Hertz Arena 7:30 pmPROMOTION: It may not be Wednesday, but this special Thursday game at The Swamp features your favorite 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. To purchase tickets, visit HERE.Saturday, December 4 Everblades vs. Trois Rivières Hertz Arena 7:00 pmPROMOTION: It is time to welcome back a Southwest Florida holiday tradition with the Teddy Bear Toss presented by Bear Necessities! Fans are encouraged to bring new or gently used Teddy Bears and stuffed animals! After the Everblades first goal, fans can toss their stuffed animals onto the ice! The stuffed animals will be donated to non-profit organizations throughout Southwest Florida. Also, the Blades will wear special Skunk Ape jerseys that will be auctioned off to benefit Bear Necessities! In addition, every Saturday home matchup this season will kick off with a free pregame tailgate party! Come out to Hertz Arena early and tailgate from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. This Saturday’s tailgate party will feature live music by A Few Rough Edges along with bounce houses and the Coca-Cola Holiday Caravan!Read more about the Blades’ busy promotional schedule and great deals HERE.
NEWS AND NOTES
LAST WEEK IS IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR: The Florida Everblades spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Jacksonville, posting a 1-0-1-1 record and earning four of a possible six points against the Icemen. After coming up short 5-4 in a shootout on Wednesday and a 3-2 overtime setback on Friday, the Everblades sealed the deal with a 3-1 victory Saturday night behind a pair of first-period goals by Alex Aleardi and a late insurance tally by Joe Pendenza.
BIENVENUE À TROIS RIVIÈRES: Facing off in a three-game series at Hertz Arena, the Florida Everblades and the Trois Rivières Lions will square off of the first time in history. Joined by the Iowa Heartlanders, the Lions are one of two ECHL expansion teams to begin play in 2021-22, as the ECHL has grown to 27 teams.
LOOK AT THE LIONS: Trois Rivières is off to a 7-7-0-0 start, which places the Lions in a tie for third-place with 14 points in the North Division of the ECHL’s Eastern Conference. Trois Rivières will be facing its first-ever opponent from outside the North Division and enters the three-game series against the Everblades averaging 3.50 goals per game, which ranks fifth in the ECHL. Trois Rivières is riding a three-game winning streak in the form of a three-game sweep over the Reading Royals. In those three games, the Lions outscored the visitors to Colisée Videotron 17-4, including a 9-1 offensive eruption on Friday, just one goal behind the top-scoring game by an ECHL team this season. Toledo topped Iowa 10-1 on October 29. Peter Abbandonato and Olivier Archambault lead the Lions with 15 points this season, as both have registered team bests with six goals and nine assists.
SETTING UP THE SOUTH: The ECHL South Division is the only one of the fourth divisions that features six teams with winning percentages above .500. The Everblades (8-3-2-3) enter the week in first place in the South Division with 21 points, two points ahead of second-place Orlando (9-6-1-0) which has 19 points and sits one point ahead of third-place Jacksonville (8-7-1-1) with 18 points. Behind the Sunshine State trio sits Norfolk (8-6-0-1) in fourth place with 17 points and Atlanta (7-5-2-0) in fifth place with 16 points. South Carolina (7-6-1-0) and Greenville (6-7-0-0) are looking to make moves with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
HOT BLADES: Joe Pendenza and Alex Aleardi are the hottest Everblades right now, as they have combined to score all five of Florida’s goals in the last two games. Pendenza enters the week with an eight-game point streak that dates to November 12 in Greenville. Over those eight games, Pendenza has scored five goals and dished off five assists. Aleardi finds himself on a four-game point streak that goes back to Florida’s last home game against Jacksonville on November 20. Over those four games, Aleardi has notched four goals and three assists for seven points.GAHAGEN IS LIGHTS OUT: Parker Gahagen picked up his third-straight road victory in Saturday night’s 3-1 win at Jacksonville and that performance propelled him to second place in the ECHL’S goals against rankings, as he trimmed his season GAA to 1.70, which also leads current ECHL netminders.BLADES AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS: Blake Winiecki leads all Everblades with 19 points on 11 goals and eight assists. He stands tied for second in the ECHL in goals and comes in eighth in points. John McCarron is tied for third in the league with a plus-14 rating. Cam Johnson’s 2.18 GAA ranks 11th. Among ECHL blueliners, defenseman Jake McLaughlin is tied for 13th with 10 points. THAT’S OUR CAPTAIN: Everblades captain John McCarron continues his ascent towards the top of the Everblades’ career leaders list. After 302 games in a Blades sweater, McCarron has 129 career regular-season goals, third-most in franchise history. The captain is just 16 goals shy of Reggie Berg’s all-time mark of 145. He also ranks fourth in Blades history with 170 regular-season assists, just 37 shy of Tom Buckley’s team record of 207. Including playoff games, Captain Everblade has tallied 147 goals and is three shy of Matthieu Roy who sits in second place with 150, while his 210 assists ranks second all-time and are 20 behind Buckley for the franchise record.EVEN COACHES HAVE MILESTONES: Everblades veteran head coach Brad Ralph is zeroing in on both his 500thwin as a head coach and 250th victory behind the Blades bench. The veteran leader sports a stellar 492-209-69 (.684) career mark in 12 seasons and a 241-91-38 (.703) tally in his sixth season guiding the Everblades.
JOIN THE FUN
Become a member of the Florida Everblades family by securing a great seat location and big savings with a Blades 365 Membership!
Purchase a new Voucher 12 package that allows you to use 12 tickets in any quantity during the 2021-22 season to earn the exclusive benefits of being a Blades 365 Member! To view the Blades 365 Membership savings, benefits and options click HERE.
Everblades put the FUN in FUNdraising! There is no handling of money or tickets and no limit to the amount of money your group can make with the Everblades easy-to-run online Fundraiser! For more information, or to reserve a Fundraiser Night at an Everblades regular season home game, call or text (239) 948-7825.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.