ESTERO, Fla. – The first week of February is upon us and the Florida Everblades have two more road games on the docket before taking to the ice at Hertz Arena for the first time in 10 days on Saturday, February 5. The three games this week see the Blades meeting up with the Orlando Solar Bears, as the Sunshine State rivals enter a stretch in which they will face off against each other five straight games.
ON ICE THIS WEEK
Thursday, February 3 Everblades at Solar Bears Amway Center 7:00 pmFriday, February 4 Everblades at Solar Bears Amway Center 7:00 pmSaturday, February 5 Solar Bears at Everblades Hertz Arena 7:00 pmPROMOTIONS: The first February home game will be one to mark on the calendar. In addition to our Saturday Night Tailgate party featuring live music by James Prather from 5-7 pm, it will also be Beach Night! Break out your swim trunks & sunscreen courtesy of Molly Moo’s Ice Cream. Be one of the first fans to Hertz Arena to receive an Everblades beach bag, presented by Molly Moo’s Ice Cream! Purchase your tickets HERE.Read more about the Blades’ busy promotional schedule and great deals HERE.
NEWS AND NOTES
LAST WEEK IN REVIEW: The Blades were quite busy, taking to the ice four times in five days. Starting the hectic stretch in fine fashion, the Everblades authored a 5-2 victory over the Utah Grizzlies at Hertz Arena on Wednesday. Five different players scored goals, while Jake Jaremko and John McCarron registered three assists and two helpers, respectively. The impressive victory was the prelude to a three-in-three stretch against the homestanding Greenville Swamp Rabbits, in which the Bunnies took the first two games, while the Blades pulled out a 6-5 overtime victory in the finale.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT: All three games this week see the Everblades facing off against the Orlando Solar Bears, opening a five-game run for the team against their South Division rivals from Central Florida. The Bears, who have a Monday night home game against the Utah Grizzlies on the horizon, enter the new week in fourth place in the South with a 20-15-2-0 overall record, good for 42 points and a .568 winning percentage.
THE SERIES: No strangers to each other, the Everblades and Solar Bears have split four games this season. The rivals exchanged 3-2 victories back in November, with each team winning at the other’s arena. In December, the Blades hung a 5-0 shutout victory on the Bears at the Amway Center, while Orlando captured a 4-3 triumph at The Swamp on December 29.
LOOKING AHEAD: Including this week, 11 of the Blades’ final 31 games are against the Solar Bears. Taking a gander at the remaining schedule, the squads will head back to Orlando for back-to-back games on Saturday, February 12 and Sunday, February 13, concluding a run of five consecutive games between the teams. Six more meetings between the clubs await after that, with four of the six games slated for Hertz Arena.
VETERANS AND VOMACKA ARE ON BEAR PATROL: In four meetings against the Solar Bears this season, Blake Winiecki tops all Everblades with six points, as he has scored one goal and produced a team-high five assists. Joe Pendenza has a team-best three goals to go with one assist for four points. John McCarron (2G, 2A) and Levko Koper (1G, 3A) also have collected four points against the Blades’ closest geographic rival. In goal, Tomas Vomacka sports a 1-1 record versus the Bears with a spiffy 1.51 GAA and a .946 save percentage.
FIRST HATTY FOR VDE: Dylan Vander Esch recorded his first pro hat trick on Sunday, picking up the hatty in his 130th career game. Prior to picking up his first hat trick, Vander Esch had four two-goal games under his belt, all coming in the SPHL. He logged two with Macon in 2017-18 and two with Fayetteville in back-to-back games in November 2019. The goals were his fist since November 24.
LEADERS AND LEGENDS: The Everblades continue to have four players among the ECHL Top-10 scorers. Blake Winiecki continues the lead the ECHL with 45 points (19G, 26A), while John McCarron (16G, 24A) is tied for fourth with 40 points, Alex Aleardi (20G, 19A) and Joe Pendenza (16G, 22A) are tied for sixth and eighth respectively. On the other side, as Orlando’s leading scorers Aaron Luchuk (27 points, 12G, 15A) and Tristin Langan (25 points, 8G, 17A) are currently in the AHL with Hartford and Manitoba, respectively, the top scorer among current Solar Bears is defenseman Michael Brodzinski, who sports 24 points on six goals and a team-high 18 assists. Forward Luke Boka’s 10 goals leads the active Bears.
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.