WHO: Florida Everblades vs. South Carolina StingraysWHERE: North Charleston Coliseum (North Charleston, SC)WHEN: Saturday, April 9 at 6:05 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. – Three games remain on the Florida Everblades’ regular-season schedule and the Blades are closing in on the ECHL South Division’s top seed in the 2022 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs. After the Blades’ 5-1 victory over host South Carolina and Atlanta’s 4-1 loss to visiting Jacksonville on Friday, the Everblades have pulled ahead of the Gladiators for first place in the division. While those squads hook up for a pair of games to close out the regular season next week in Estero, the Everblades (40-19-6-4, 90 points) lead Atlanta (42-23-3-1, 88 points) in points percentage .652 to .638.
THE OPPONENT: The South Carolina Stingrays (26-37-6-0) remain in sixth place in the ECHL South, leading the seventh- place Norfolk Admirals (26-37-2-3) by the narrowest of margins in points percentage, .420 to .419. The Stingrays saw their five-game winning streak halted by the Everblades on Friday and sport a 7-3 mark in their last 10 games. During their now defunct five-game winning streak, the Rays had prevailed in four one-goal games, including three victories in overtime.
THE SERIES: Florida has won all seven meetings against the Stingrays this season, including victories in all three games played in North Charleston. Blake Winiecki (4 G, 6 A) has registered a team-high 10 points versus the Rays, while John McCarron (4 G, 5 A) is right behind him with nine 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 nine regular-season games against the Rays, with six of the nine 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 looking to lock up the top seed before the Gladiators come to Hertz Arena next weekend. Jacksonville (38-25-3-2, 81 points) is in third place with a .596 points percentage. The battle for the fourth and final playoff spot between Greenville (31-27-5-4, 71 points) and Orlando (32-29-6-1, 71 points) has been a see-saw affair, with the Swamp Rabbits leading in points percentage .530 to .522.
GAHAGEN IS A FORCE: 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.
CAPTAIN EVERBLADE CONTINUES TO SHINE: 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) now shares the top spot in overall assists. With 202 regular-season assists and 230 overall helpers, McCarron has matched Tom Buckley on the overall side of the ledger. Johnny Mac is five assists shy of the regular-season career record 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