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Everblades Look to Open 2022 With Another Win

Saturday, January 1st
Everblades Look to Open 2022 With Another Win

WHO: Everblades vs. Atlanta Gladiators

WHERE: Gas South Arena (Duluth, Ga.)

WHEN: Saturday, January 1 at 7:30 pm

BROADCAST: Watch every Florida Everblades game on FloHockey.TV.

ESTERO, Fla. – The Florida Everblades look to start 2022 the same way they closed out the 2021 calendar year… with a win! The current three-in-three set in the Peach State continues Saturday at 7:30 pm and will conclude Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm.

THE OPPONENT: Following Friday’s 2-0 loss to the Everblades, the Atlanta Gladiators bring a 12-12-2-1 record into Saturday’s middle game of the series, good for fourth place in the ECHL’s South Division. With 27 points on the year, Atlanta is exactly four points behind third-place Orlando (15-12-1-0, 31 pts) and exactly four points ahead of fifth-place teams Greenville (9-11-3-2, 23 pts) and Norfolk (11-16-0-1, 23 pts). Cody Sylvester leads all Atlanta skaters with 22 points (11 G, 11 A). Hugo Roy, currently with the AHL’s Belleville Senators, has scored a team-high 12 goals, while Luke Nogard has dished out a team-best 15 assists.

THE SERIES: Florida and Atlanta have faced off five times this season, with the Everblades holding a 3-1-1-0 advantage, including wins in three of the last four games. All-time, Florida holds a decisive 107-56-15 (.643) edge in 178 meetings between the rivals.

LAST TIME OUT: The Everblades opened the three-game set in Duluth, Ga. with a 2-0 victory over the Gladiators. After a scoreless first period, Nathan Perkovich lit the lamp with help from Jordan Sambrook and Alex Aleardi at the 17:05 mark of the second period. At 7:26 of the third, Kyle Neuber gave the Blades some insurance with the assistance of Dylan Vander Esch to seal the W. Parker Gahagen logged 25 saves and earned his fourth-straight road win with his second shutout of the season. 

ROAD WARRIORS: Friday’s win in the opener of a three-game series with Atlanta continued a season-long stretch of outstanding road play. The Everblades have collected an ECHL-best 25 points on the road, posting an impressive 11-0-2-1 record in 14 games away from Hertz Arena. The Blades are the only team in the league to secure double-digit road victories and join Newfoundland (9-0-1-0) – a 4-3 overtime loser at Adirondack on Friday – as the only two ECHL clubs yet to suffer a regulation setback. 

SHOUTOUT TO THE COACH: Everblades veteran head coach Brad Ralph recorded his 500th win as a head coach in Friday’s 2-0 win over Atlanta. He now sits just ONE win shy of 250 wins in Southwest Florida. In his 12th season as a head coach, Ralph sports a 500-208-67 (.689) career record. Breaking it down, Ralph sports a 452-188-63 (.688) mark in the pro ranks, a 381-154-56 (.692) ledger in the ECHL, and a 249-90-36 (.712) mark with the Blades.

ALEARDI REACHES 10 STRAIGHT TO MATCH PENDENZA: While Joe Pendenza’s 10-game road point streak (8 G, 9 A, 17 pts) – the longest by an ECHL player this season – came to an end on Friday, Alex Aleardi extended his road point streak (7 G, 9 A, 16 pts) to 10 games last night with an assist on Nathan Perkovich’s second-period goal. The 10-game road point streaks for both are the longest by an ECHL player this season.

CONTINUING TO PERKOLATE: With Friday’s game-winning goal, Nathan Perkovich now has the longest active point streak among Everblades players. Perkovich has registered a point in four straight games, picking up four goals and one assist in that stretch which began with a two-goal effort in a 5-1 win over Atlanta on December 18. 

BLADES AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS: Despite not dressing in the last two games, Blake Winiecki continues to rank towards the top of the ECHL offensive leaders, as his 32 points rank third in the loop, while his 14 goals are tied for fourth place. Joe Pendenza is tied for 12th with 26 points (11 G, 15 A), while John McCarron stands fifth with a plus-17 rating. Cam Johnson ranks fifth among ECHL goaltenders with a 2.13 GAA. Among ECHL rookies, Jake Jaremko is in eighth place with 19 points, while he is second among ECHL newcomers with six power-play assists and eight power-play points. 

McCARRON’S STREAK STOPS AT NINE IN A ROW: John McCarron saw his nine-game point streak fall on Friday. After scoring at least one point in each of the first nine games he played in December. Over those nine games, McCarron collected 10 points on three goals and seven assists.

RIDE, CAPTAIN RIDE: In addition to collecting 10 points on three goals and seven assists in 10 December games, Captain John McCarron continues his rise on the Everblades record book. With 355 career points in an Everblades sweater, including playoffs, captain John McCarron is now just 10 points shy of Reggie Berg’s franchise record of 365. In regular-season games, McCarron’s 309 career points ranks third, just one out of second place (310, Tom Buckley) and 10 points short of the franchise mark (319, Reggie Berg). In the goal and assist departments, with 132 regular-season goals and 177 regular-season assists, McCarron is one goal away from second place all-time in regular-season goals. Additionally, with 150 career goals in all games including playoffs, McCarron is now tied for second place all-time in that category and just 14 markers shy of the all-time mark (Reggie Berg, 164).

NEXT UP FOR THE BLADES: Following the weekend series against the Gladiators, the Everblades return to Hertz Arena for their first look at the South Carolina Stingrays this season. Games are slated for Friday, January 7 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, January 8 at 7:00 pm.

During each Friday home game of the 2021-22 season, fans can enjoy the action with a 239 ticket package, which pays tribute to Southwest Florida's area code and provides a great deal! You get two premium seat tickets, two autographed programs, and two tasty mushroom and swiss burgers for just $39! To purchase tickets, visit HERE. Also, enjoy Faith and Family Night with the Blades including a post-game slapshot contest for all groups! 

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 pm. This Saturday’s tailgate party will feature live music by Chris Bepko, kids’ activities, and food and drinks for all ages! Saturday night is also Canadian Night presented by TD Bank. Enjoy Canadian themed items all throughout the night!

Read more about the Blades’ busy promotional schedule and great deals HERE.

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JOIN THE FUNBecome 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.

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Watch every Florida Everblades game on FloHockey.TV.

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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.

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