WHO: Florida Everblades vs. South Carolina StingraysWHERE: North Charleston Coliseum (North Charleston, SC)WHEN: Friday, April 8 at 7:05 pmBROADCAST: 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.
ESTERO, Fla. – Four games remain on the Florida Everblades’ regular-season schedule and the ECHL South Division’s top seed in the 2022 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs remains in the balance. Following a 7-1 shellacking of the host Atlanta Gladiators on Wednesday, the Blades are tied with the Glads for first place in the ECHL South. Before those squads hook up for a pair of games to close out the regular season next week, the Everblades will take to the ice for two contests against the South Carolina Stingrays in North Charleston Coliseum Friday and Saturday nights.
THE OPPONENT: The South Carolina Stingrays (26-36-6-0) are in sixth place in the ECHL South, leading the seventh place Norfolk Admirals (26-36-2-3) by the narrowest of margins in point percentage, .426 to .419. The Stingrays are riding a five-game winning streak and sport a 7-3 mark in their last 10 games. During their five-game winning streak, the Rays have prevailed in four one-goal games, including three victories in overtime.
THE SERIES: 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. Coupled with victories in the final two regular-season games between the clubs in 2020-21, the Everblades have won the past eight regular-season games against the Rays, with five of the eight victories coming in regulation time.
SOUTH DIVISION PLAYOFF PICTURE: Florida, Atlanta and Jacksonville have all clinched spots in the upcoming Kelly Cup Playoffs, with the Everblades and Gladiators battling for top two seeds in some order. Jacksonville (37-25-3-2, 79 points) is in third place with a .590 points percentage. The battle for the fourth and final playoff spot between Greenville (30-27-5-4, 69 points) and Orlando (32-29-6-1, 71 points) and has been a see-saw affair, as those clubs are neck and neck with Greenville leading the way with a .523 points percentage while Orlando sports a .522 points percentage. The Solar Bears have three games remaining while the Swamp Rabbits have six games remaining and will meet just once more this season.
GAHAGEN DOMINATES AGAIN: With 23 saves in Wednesday’s 7-1 triumph in Atlanta, Everblades’ goaltender Parker Gahagen extended his personal winning streak to five games, longest by a Blade netminder this season, with the string dating back to March 26. Gahagen (18-9-2-1) ranks third among ECHL netminders with a 2.19 GAA, just 0.05 out of the top spot and 0.02 out of second. His .920 save percentage ranks third in the loop. Over his five-game winning streak Gahagen has tallied a 1.57 GAA and a .940 save percentage. Dating back to March 1, Gahagen has compiled a 6-2-1-0 record with a 1.91 GAA and a .921 save mark.
NEW BLADES LEAD THE DIRTY DOZEN: In Wednesday’s 7-1 win over Atlanta, 12 different Everblades factored into the scoring as the team posted a season-high in goals scored. For recent roster additions Matteo Gennaro (1 G, 1 A), Lukas Kaelble (2 A), Darik Angeli (2 A) and Naples native Zach Solow (1 G, 1 A), their two-point performances marked their first multiple-point games in Everblade sweaters this season. The quartet joined Levko Koper (2 G) and John McCarron (1 G, 1 A).
SPEAKING OF CAPTAIN EVERBLADE: Having recently made 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 200 regular-season assists and 228 overall helpers, McCarron is closing in on Tom Buckley’s regular-season (207) and overall (230) records. Johnny Mac is seven regular-season assists and two overall apples shy of the career records that Buckley set as a Blade from 1999 through 2004.
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’s 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! Fans can also enjoy fan appreciation night with giveaways all night along and a team photo giveaway presented by FGCU! 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!
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