ESTERO, Fla. – After taking two of three games from the visiting Idaho Steelheads and clinching a spot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, the Florida Everblades will have a busy week as they hit the road for four games in the final regular-season road trip of the 2021-22 campaign. The Blades will face three different South Division opponents, stopping in Orlando on Monday and Atlanta on Wednesday, before wrapping up the trip with two games at South Carolina Friday and Saturday.
ON ICE THIS WEEK
Monday, April 4 - Everblades at Solar Bears | Amway Center, 7:00 pm
Wednesday, April 6 - Everblades at Gladiators | Gas South Arena, 7:00 pm
Friday, April 8 - Everblades at Stingrays | North Charleston Coliseum, 7:05 pm
Saturday, April 9 - Everblades at Stingrays | North Charleston Coliseum, 6:05 pm
NEWS AND NOTES
LAST WEEK IN REVIEW: The Everblades took two of three games from the Idaho Steelheads at Hertz Arena last week. After capturing the series opener 4-3 on Wednesday and suffering a 3-0 setback on Friday, the Blades picked up a 3-1 victory on Saturday. Florida picked up four of a possible six points that were up for grabs in the first series in six years. All-time, the Blades have compiled an 8-5-1 record versus the Steelheads.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS: Fresh off clinching a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Saturday, the Everblades will lock horns with three different South Division rivals, starting with single games against the Orlando Solar Bears and Atlanta Gladiators, as well as two contests against the South Carolina Stingrays. The Solar Bears are in a battle for the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division, while the Gladiators clinched their playoff spot this past Friday.
THE SERIES WITH ORLANDO: The Everblades lead the season series 8-4-2-0, including a four-game winning streak from February 23 through March 19, before the Solar Bears picked up a 4-3 overtime win on March 24. In 14 games versus Orlando, John McCarron has registered a team-high 12 goals and 19 points, while Blake Winiecki and Levko Koper each have 10 assists. Parker Gahagen has been stellar in net against the Solar Bears, logging a 1.35 GAA and a .960 save percentage en route to a 2-1 record.
THE SERIES WITH ATLANTA: The Blades lead this year’s series 5-3-2-0, last picking up a 3-2 win in the teams’ last meeting on January 22 that snapped a three-game winless streak versus the Gladiators. Blake Winiecki (2 G, 8 A) tops the Blades with 10 points against the Gladiators, while Alex Aleardi has a team-high five goals.
THE SERIES WITH SOUTH CAROLINA: Florida has won all six meetings against the Stingrays this season, including victories in both games played in North Charleston. Joe Pendenza (4 G, 4 A) and Blake Winiecki (3 G, 5 A) have registered a team-high eight points versus the Rays, while John McCarron (4 G, 3 A) is right behind them with seven points. In goal, Parker Gahagen leads the way with a 4-0 record and a 2.23 GAA.
SOUTH DIVISION PLAYOFF PUSH: The top four teams in the ECHL South will qualify for the Kelly Cup Playoffs and those teams and their seeds are far from being settled, as three squads are hopeful of joining Atlanta and Florida in the postseason. Each of the possible playoff participants have at least six regular-season games remaining. In the race for the top spot in the South, the Everblades (37-19-6-4, 84 points) sit in second place with a .636 points percentage, hot on the heels of first-place Atlanta (41-21-3-1, 86 points) which boasts a .652 points percentage. Jacksonville (37-23-3-2, 79 points) is in third place with a .608 points percentage. The battle for the fourth and final playoff spot between Greenville (29-26-5-4, 67 points) and Orlando (31-28-5-1, 68 points) has tipped just a bit in the Swamp Rabbits’ favor over the past week, as those clubs have points percentages of .5234 and .5231, respectively.
CHECKING THE BOARDS: The addition of Darik Angeli to the Everblades’ top line has given the good guys even more of a presence atop the ECHL leaderboards. Angeli and John McCarron are both in the league’s top-10 in points this season. Angeli ranks seventh with 66 points, 65 of which were collected over 56 games as a member of the Kansas City Mavericks before he made his first appearance as a Blade this past Saturday. McCarron is tied for 10th place with 64 points, while Blake Winiecki and Joe Pendenza lurk just outside the top-10 in 12th and 13th place with 63 and 62 points, respectively. In goals scored, Angeli is tied for third in the league with 29 markers, while McCarron and Winiecki are tied for seventh place with 28 lamplighters.
400 GAMES LATER, THE CAPTAIN KEEPS ROLLING: Just one game shy of making his 400th overall appearance as a Florida Everblade, Captain John McCarron keeps steamrolling towards the top of all major categories in the franchise record book. McCarron, who earlier this season became the Everblades’ all-time career record holder in goals (150 regular season, 168 overall) and points (347 regular season, 393 overall) is nearing the top spot in assists. With 198 regular-season assists and 226 overall helpers, McCarron is closing in on Tom Buckley’s regular-season (207) and overall (230) records. Johnny Mac is nine regular-season assists and four overall apples shy of the career records that Buckley set as a Blade from 1999 through 2004.
NEW GUYS CHOMP: Since joining the Everblades last week, the three newest residents of The Swamp have come through with flying colors. In his debut in last Wednesday’s 4-3 victory over Idaho, Lukas Kaelble recorded an assist. Additionally, in Saturday’s 3-1 triumph over the Steelheads, Mateo Gennaro and Darik Angeli potted two of the Blades’ three goals, with Gennaro tickling the twine in his second game and Angeli coming through in his first.
NEXT UP IN THE SWAMP: Following the upcoming four-game road trip, the Everblades will head back to Estero to close out the regular season with two games against the Atlanta Gladiators that may have a major impact in the Kelly Cup Playoffs picture. The Gladiators will be in town Friday, April 15 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, April 16 at 7:00 pm. The final regular-season games will feature some wonderful promotional activities.
During each Friday home game of the 2021-22 season, fans can enjoy the action with a 239 ticket package, which pays tribute to Southwest Florida's area code and provides a great deal! You get two premium seat tickets, two autographed programs, and two Molly Moo ice creams for just $39! Tickets can also be purchased HERE.
Also, as a thank you to our first responder heroes, frontline workers are eligible to receive a buy one, get one ticket offer for all remaining Friday home games while supplies last. Get your tickets HERE.
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. The April 16 tailgate party will feature live music by A Few Rough Edges. It is also fan appreciation night with giveaways going on all night long! Tickets can also be purchased HERE.
Also, the Everblades host Pink in the Rink presented by Radiology Regional on Saturday, April 16. The Blades will don specialty pink jerseys during the game versus the Atlanta Gladiators. 4 Words Foundation is dedicated to helping with cancer awareness, education and patient financial assistance will be the recipient of the specialty jersey's proceeds from the auction!
Read more about the Blades’ busy promotional schedule and great deals HERE.
JOIN THE FUN
2022 Kelly Cup Playoff Packages 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.
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.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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