ESTERO, Fla. – The Florida Everblades look to bounce back after dropping two of the first three games of their seven-game homestand with a solo game this week against the Orlando Solar Bears on Saturday, March 12th. This matchup marks the start of a stretch of four of five games against the Solar Bears.
ON ICE THIS WEEK
Saturday, March 12 Solar Bears at Everblades Hertz Arena 7:00 pmPROMOTIONS: 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 T.C. Carter, and kids’ activities! Tickets can also be purchased HERE.
In addition, next Saturday will be Blackout Night as the Blades will be sporting nifty black jerseys that will be auctioned off to benefit the Passion Foundation and its fight against Melanoma! The jersey auction will be on the DASH Auction App and begin on Wednesday, March 9th at 10 am.
Read more about the Blades’ busy promotional schedule and great deals HERE
NEWS AND NOTES
LAST WEEK IN REVIEW: The Everblades saw a six-game winning streak and a nine-game point streak fall by the wayside, as the Greenville Swamp Rabbits took two out of three contests at Hertz Arena. After dropping a 3-2 decision on Wednesday and falling 2-0 on Friday, the Blades bounced back to earn a 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Over the three-game set with Greenville, Blake Winiecki led all Everblades will two goals and three points.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT: The Orlando Solar Bears are on the docket for the week’s only game. The ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, the Solar Bears (28-22-4-0, 60 points) sit squarely in fourth place in the South Division with a .556 points percentage, some 13 points ahead of fifth-place Greenville which sports a .470 points percentage in the race for the final South Division spot in the upcoming Kelly Cup Playoffs.
THE SERIES WITH ORLANDO: In 10 meetings against the Bears this season, the Everblades have posted a 5-4-1-0 record, including a 2-3-0-0 tally in games played at Hertz Arena and a 3-1-1-0 mark in games played in Orlando. The Blades took the last matchup by an impressive 6-0 count back on February 23 behind two goals from Michael Neville, two assists from Joe Pendenza and a 26-save shutout by Parker Gahagen.
HAPPY TO SEE THE BEARS: John McCarron leads all Everblades skaters with eight goals and 13 points in 10 games, while Blake Winiecki has collected four goals and a team-high eight assists for 12 points in nine games. The McCarron-Winiecki tandem is also good for plus-7 and plus-9 ratings, respectively. Joe Pendenza (4 G, 5 A) has chalked up nine points, while Levko Koper (2 G, 5 A) has notched seven points. In net, Parker Gahagen is 2-1 in three starts with a 1.35 GAA and a .960 save percentage. Tomas Vomacka has made a team-high four starts, posting a 1-2-1 record with a 3.04 GAA and a .902 save percentage.
GO, GO GAHAGEN!: One week removed from earning Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week honors, Parker Gahagen continues to play tremendous hockey. In Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Greenville, Gahagen (13-8-1-1) moved into a tie for the ECHL lead with his fourth shutout of the season. The Army product continued his outstanding run in goal for the Everblades, making 28 saves and winning for the fifth time in his last six starts, one night after registering over 50 shutout minutes in a relief role. Over his last seven appearances, the defending Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week has posted a 5-1-0-0 record with a 1.29 GAA and a robust .955 save percentage. On the year, Gahagen ranks fourth in the ECHL with a 2.18 GAA and is tied for third with a .923 save percentage.DOMINATING THE LEADERBOARDS: With four 20-goal scorers, three players with 30-plus assists and three skaters in the 50-point club, the Everblades are featured prominently through the top statistical categories in the ECHL. In the goals category, Blake Winiecki is tied for the league lead with 25 tallies, while John McCarron is tied for third with 24, Alex Aleardi is tied for 10th with 22 and Joe Pendenza is tied for 17th with 20. In the assists category, Winiecki stands tied for seventh with 33 helpers, while McCarron and Pendenza are tied for 15th with 31 each. Putting it all together, Winiecki ranks second with 59 points, just one out of the league lead, while McCarron is sixth with 55, Pendenza is tied for eight with 51 and Aleardi is tied for 24th with 44. Xavier Bouchard continues to top all ECHL players with a plus-28 rating, sporting a lead of three over the next closest skater.
CHECKING IN ON THE CAPTAIN: With a goal in Wednesday’s 3-2 setback to Greenville, the marker gave Captain Everblade John McCarron his 146th regular-season goal in a Florida uniform, a career record. The milestone goal lifted McCarron past Reggie Berg atop the club’s regular-season leaderboard. McCarron and Berg, an Everblades legend from 1999 through 2007, are now tied for the franchise record with 164 career overall goals, which also includes playoffs. Earlier this season, McCarron became the organization’s all-time leader in regular-season (339) and overall points (385).
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.
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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.