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Perkovich, McCarron and Gahagen Lead Blades to Sixth Straight Win

Sunday, February 27th
Perkovich, McCarron and Gahagen Lead Blades to Sixth Straight Win

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – A pair of second-period goals from Nathan Perkovich, a record-tying goal from John McCarron and a fourth straight win by goaltender Parker Gahagen lifted the Florida Everblades (30-15-4-4) to a 3-1 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays (17-28-6-0) Sunday afternoon at North Charleston Coliseum.

The victory extended the Everblades winning streak to six straight games and marked the ninth straight game in which the red-hot Blades earned at least one point in the standings. In those nine games, the Blades have assembled a 7-0-1-1 record, good for 16 of a possible 18 points.

One night removed from a combined 11 goals, the Everblades and Stingrays battled to a scoreless deadlock over the game’s first 20 minutes. In an extremely physical first period that saw South Carolina claim a 12-9 advantage in shots on goal, the Blades were whistled for 15 minutes in penalties on six infractions, while the Rays committed three penalties for nine minutes. Blades’ goaltender Parker Gahagen and his Stingrays’ counterpart Ryan Bednard were brick walls in the opening frame, logging 12 saves and nine saves, respectively.

The stalemate continued past the midpoint of the second period, but Perkovich hammered home a blast from the top of the left circle to put the Everblades on top 1-0 at 11:36 of the middle stanza. Passes from Jake McLaughlin and Ben Masella set up Perkovich’s 11th goal of the season. Perkovich struck for a second time in the period, potting his 12th of the year with the Blades on the power-play just 2:20 later, with Tyler Nanne and Stefan Leblanc earning the assists as Florida pulled ahead 2-0. 

The Everblades’ third goal was historic, as McCarron scored his 145th regular-season goal in an Everblades uniform, matching the franchise career record that Captain Everblade now shares with Reggie Berg, a star with the Everblades from 1999 through 2007. Also the franchise’s career leader with 383 points in the regular season and playoffs combined, McCarron netted his 23rd goal of the year with a blast from the left circle. The assists went to Blake Winiecki and McLaughlin as a three-on-two opportunity materialized at 17:17 of the second period.

Andrew Cherniwchan snapped Gahagen’s bid for a league-leading fourth shutout with a shorthanded goal at 9:20 of the third period as the Everblades’ lead was cut to 3-1.

South Carolina held a 33-28 edge in shots on goal, but Gahagen (12-7-1-1) was outstanding. The sizzling Gahagen stopped 32 shots to register his fourth straight win, the longest winning streak by an Everblades goalie this season. Bednard (11-14-3-0) made 25 saves and suffered the loss.

The Everblades return to Hertz Arena to open a seven-game homestand on Wednesday, March 2 with a 7:30 pm tilt versus the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, the first game in a three-game series between the ECHL South Division rivals. As Southwest Florida hockey fans have come to know and love, every Wednesday home game at The Swamp features some awesome Hump Day deals, including $3 John Morrell hot dogs and Bud Light drafts. Also, college students can show a valid student ID at the Fifth Third Box Office to purchase their student ticket for only $5. Students can also purchase tickets online HERE. Read more about the Blades’ busy promotional schedule and great deals HERE.

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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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