WHO: Florida Everblades vs. Jacksonville IcemenWHERE: Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena (Jacksonville, FL)WHEN: Saturday, March 26 at 7:00 pmBROADCAST: Watch every Florida Everblades game on FloHockey.TV. Listen to the exciting game action online on MIxlr by visiting www.mixlr.com/florida-everblades.
ESTERO, Fla. – The Florida Everblades are looking for their first victory of the current three-in-three road trip on Saturday, as the Blades take to the ice following back-to-back one-goal setbacks. Florida earned its only point of the trip in a 4-3 overtime loss Thursday at Orlando before falling 3-2 in regulation Friday at Jacksonville.
THE OPPONENT: The Jacksonville Icemen (35-20-3-2) join the Everblades (34-18-6-4) in striking distance of first-place Atlanta (39-19-3-1). Florida and Jacksonville sport .629 and .625 points percentages, just behind the Gladiators’ mark of .661. The ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack, the Icemen snapped a two-game winless streak on Friday, improving to 5-4-1-0 over their past 10 games.
THE SERIES: In nine meetings against the Icemen this season, the Everblades have turned in a 2-2-2-3 record, but have picked up at least one point in seven different games. The squads have met five times at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena, with the Blades posting a 2-1-1-1 record. Prior to Friday’s 3-2 loss, Florida had won the previous two meetings of the clubs played in North Florida, as the Everblades notched a 3-2 shutout victory on February 25 and a 3-1 triumph back on November 27. Bonus hockey has been the standard this season as six of the nine contests have gone into extra time, with four requiring a shootout.
LAST TIME OUT: The Everblades (34-18-6-4) dropped the second straight game of their three-in-three road series on Friday night with a 3-2 heartbreaker to the Jacksonville Icemen (35-20-3-2) at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. Jacksonville’s Ara Nazarian opened the scoring 2:54 into the contest, but Jake Jaremko got Florida back on track 90 seconds later by burying a pass from Stefan Leblanc in front of the crease. The Blades saw a man-advantage on Nazarian’s hooking minor but they were unable to break the 1-1 score before the first intermission. In the second period, Nazarian hammered another shot home during an odd man rush to give Jacksonville a 2-1 edge. Austin McEneny’s first goal of the season secured the win for the Icemen as he knuckled a shot over Parker Gahagen’s glove hand to make it 3-1 Jacksonville at 12:15 of the third. Kody McDonald scored from the side of the net minutes later to bring the Blades within one, but the Icemen denied their remaining chances for a 3-2 win on home ground.
SONG OF THE SOUTH: The Everblades remain squarely in the chase for the South Division’s top spot with 10 regular-season games left on the schedule. The Blades (34-18-6-4, 78 points) sit in second place with a .629 points percentage, hot on the heels of first-place Atlanta (39-19-3-1, 82 points) which boasts a .661 points percentage. Jacksonville (35-20-3-2, 75 points) is in third place with a .625 points percentage. Atlanta and Jacksonville have 10 and 12 games, respectively, remaining on the schedule.
COLD AS ICE IS QUITE NICE: Against Jacksonville, Alex Aleardi and Joe Pendenza have led the way for the Blades in the season series, as they have touched the Icemen for 10 points and eight points, respectively. Aleardi (5 G, 5 A) leads all Everblades in goals, while Pendenza (3 G, 5 A) leads the squad in helpers. Jake Jaremko and Dylan Vander Esch have notched four goals and three goals, respectively, while Blake Winiecki has a pair. Among Florida netminders, Parker Gahagen has picked up both of the team’s wins, turning in a 2-1-1-1 record with a 2.78 GAA.
OUR OWN PRIVATE IDAHO: After games in Jacksonville Friday and Saturday, the Everblades will return home on Wednesday, March 30 for the first of three games against the Idaho Steelheads at 7:30 pm. Action is also slated for Friday, April 1 and 7:30 pm and Saturday, April 2 at 7:00 pm. This series will mark the only meeting between the Blades and the Steelheads, who will make the 2,763-mile trek to Hertz Arena from Boise.
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Purchase a new Voucher 12 package that allows you to use 12 tickets in any quantity during the 2022-23 season to earn the exclusive benefits of being a Blades 365 Member! To view the Blades 365 Membership savings, benefits and options click HERE.
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Watch every Florida Everblades game on FloHockey.TV. Listen to the exciting game action on ESPN Southwest Florida on 770 AM, 98.1 FM, 104.3 FM and online at https://espnswfl.com or Mixlr at www.mixlr.com/florida-everblades.
The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.