ESTERO, Fla. – Joe Pendenza scored his 19th goal of the season 2:41 into overtime to give the Florida Everblades (25-15-4-4) a 4-3 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays (16-24-5-0) Friday night at Hertz Arena. The Blades also picked up goals from Dylan Vander Esch, Chris McKay and Michael Neville, while defenseman Jordan Sambrook recorded the first two-assist game of his career.
In the opening period, Vander Esch broke open a stalemate after 16:52 of scoreless hockey, driving home a blast from the slot to put the home team ahead 1-0. Vander Esch took a feed from Sambrook who was stationed just inside the South Carolina blue line, displayed some nifty footwork spinning through traffic and collected his seventh goal of the season.
Both teams traded scoring opportunities throughout the first half of the second period before South Carolina’s Jade Miller knotted the game at the 10:56 mark off a rebound for his seventh goal of the season. The Stingrays struck 62 seconds later off an unsuccessful clearing attempt by Florida to take a 2-1 lead on Tariq Hammond’s first goal of the season.
The Everblades answered quickly, tying the score at 2-2 on McKay’s fourth marker of the season at the 15:09 mark of the second. Passes from Jake Jaremko from the right corner and Xavier Bouchard cross ice from the right point found the wide-open McKay who one-timed the puck from the left point past Stingrays’ netminder Ryan Bednard.
Just 4:25 into the third period, Neville’s first goal of the year put the Blades ahead 3-2, as he converted from the doorstep on Sambrook’s second assist of the night and a secondary helper from Stefan Leblanc. The Stingrays answered right back, tying the game at 3-3 on Ryan Dmowski’s eighth goal of the year 6:01 into the period. Neither team was able to score over the final 13:59 of regulation.
In overtime, with the Everblades enjoying a 4-on-3 man advantage, Pendenza notched the game winner at the 2:41 mark with assists going to Nathan Perkovich and Blake Winiecki.
Parker Gahagen made 24 saves for the Everblades to earn his ninth victory of the season, while South Carolina’s Bednard turned aside 31 shots in a losing effort.
The current four-game homestand rolls on with the second of two contests against South Carolina on Saturday night at 7:00 pm and it’s time for hockey fans all across Southwest Florida to shout Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick, Na, Nick, Nick, Nick, NICKELODEON! The Everblades are pleased to bring back Nickelodeon Night where they will be wearing specialty Garfield jerseys that fans may bid on for purchase. Net jersey auction proceeds will be donated to the Animal Refuge Center. To bid on a jersey, visit HERE.
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 TC Carter and kids’ activities. Tickets can also be purchased HERE.
Read more about the Blades’ busy promotional schedule and great deals HERE.
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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.
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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.