ESTERO, Fla. – The Florida Everblades turned in a strong performance on both ends of the ice Saturday night, defeating the Greenville Swamp Rabbits 3-0 in front of a raucous standing-room only crowd of 7,237 at Hertz Arena. Florida (31-17-4-4) rebounded from back-to-back losses to the Swamp Rabbits (20-23-4-3) and snapped Greenville’s four-game winning streak.
Midway through the first period, the Everblades struck first as Alex Aleardi registered his 22nd goal of the season by skating past the Greenville defense and poking home the puck while tumbling to the ice. Avery Peterson picked up the assist as the Blades took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission after outshooting the visitors 12-4 in the opening frame.
In the second stanza, Peterson and Aleardi swapped roles, as Peterson backhanded the puck over sprawling Swamp Rabbits’ netminder Jacob Ingham at the 8:34 mark off helpers by Aleardi and Joe Pendenza to double the Everblades’ lead to 2-0. The tally was Peterson’s fifth of the season. For the second straight period, the Blades dominated the shots on goal category to the tune of a 17-11 edge.
The Blades’ offense continued clicking into the third period, as Blake Winiecki scored his 25th goal of the season, giving him a share of the ECHL lead, putting the Everblades ahead 3-0. Winiecki stole the puck at the red line behind the Greenville defense and connected on an unassisted backhanded tally at the 9:27 mark. Florida ended the evening with a 34-28 advantage in shots on goal.
Parker Gahagen (13-8-1-1) moved into a tie for the ECHL lead with his fourth shutout of the season and 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.
The Everblades will take a much-deserved break before next taking to the Hertz Arena ice on Saturday, March 12 when the Orlando Solar Bears skate into town for next week’s sole matchup at 7:00 pm. As Blades fans have come to know and love, 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, kids’ activities, and food and drinks for all ages! 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!
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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