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Aleardi’s OT Game-Winner Lifts Everblades to 2-1 Series Lead

Thursday, April 28th
Aleardi’s OT Game-Winner Lifts Everblades to 2-1 Series Lead

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Alex Aleardi scored a power-play goal 7:41 into overtime to propel the Florida Everblades to a thrilling 4-3 victory in game three of the 2022 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs South Division Semifinal over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits Wednesday night in Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The Everblades picked up a critical win to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

After the teams traded numerous opportunities but came up empty over the game’s first 14 minutes, special teams play took over all the way through the end of the second period. Greenville struck first as Alex Ierullo collected the Swamp Rabbits’ third shorthanded tally of the playoffs, tops in the ECHL, staking the home team to a 1-0 lead at 14:33 of the first period.

The Everblades answered before the end of the opening period with a shorthanded goal of their own, as Levko Koper knocked home a pass from Jake Jaremko on a two-on-one break for his first goal of the playoffs, knotting the score at 1-1 at the 18:11 mark. 

Special teams play remained the name of the game in the second period as well, with Matteo Gennaro wheeling and dealing from the right circle for a power-play goal that put the Everblades up 2-1 at 16:41. Gennaro’s second marker of the playoffs came off assists by Ben Masella and Joe Pendenza.

Just like the Blades answered to tie the score in the first frame, Greenville returned the favor at 17:37 of the second, as Nikita Pavlychev tipped in the puck for a power-play goal, his second goal of the postseason, just 56 seconds later, tying the game at 2-2 to close out the scoring in the middle period. 

In the third period, Jake Jaremko went the traditional route, scoring an even-strength goal, his first of the postseason, after weaving in and out of heavy traffic in the Greenville end just 2:13 into the stanza for his second point of the contest. Blake Winiecki was credited with an assist.

The Swamp Rabbits answered with their second game-tying goal of the contest, as Greenville picked up their second power-play goal of the game, as Anthony Rinaldi slapped in a rebound from the left circle at the 9:30 mark to tie the game at 3-3. Neither team managed to convert again in regulation, sending the contest into overtime. 

For the second time in the series, the Blades called game in the extra period, as Aleardi fired a shot from the slot past Greenville goaltender John Lethemon at the 7:41 mark to seal the 4-3 win for Florida. The goal was assisted by forwards Pendenza and Darik Angeli. This marked the second goal of the series for Aleardi. 

The Everblades outshot the Swamp Rabbits 5-1 in the overtime period and 34-32 for the contest. Cam Johnson registered 29 saves and earned the win for the Everblades, while Lethemon collected 30 stops for Greenville. 

The series continues with game four Friday night in Greenville, when the Blades and Rabbits meet up again at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Action begins at 7:05 pm. Fans unable to make the road trip can watch every Florida Everblades game on FloHockey.TV. Listen to the exciting game action on Mixlr at www.mixlr.com/florida-everblades

If necessary, the Everblades will host game six of the division semifinal series on Monday, May 2. The action begins at 7:30 pm inside Hertz Arena.

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2022 Kelly Cup Playoff Tickets are now on sale. Join the Blades in their pursuit for a second Kelly Cup title! To learn more, call or text (239) 948-7825 or purchase HERE

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 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.

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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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

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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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