WHO: Florida Everblades vs. Atlanta GladiatorsWHERE: Gas South Arena (Duluth, GA)WHEN: Wednesday, April 6 at 7:00 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. – With five games to play in the regular season, the Florida Everblades (38-19-6-4, 86 points) and Atlanta Gladiators (42-21-3-1, 88 points) will meet for the first of three games over an 11-day span, contests that will play a large role in determining which team will head into the 2022 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs as the number one seed in the South Division. Following Wednesday’s game in Gas South Arena, the teams will meet in the final two games of the regular season on April 15-16 in Hertz Arena. In addition to three games against each other, the Blades also have two road games on the docket against the South Carolina Stingrays, while the Glads have two home meetings with the Jacksonville Icemen.
THE OPPONENT: The Atlanta Gladiators hold a narrow lead over the Everblades in the race for first place in the ECHL South Division. With a .657 points percentage, the Gladiators hold a slim lead over the Blades, who sport a .642 mark. Atlanta has won seven of its last 10 games and comes off a 4-3 victory over Greenville on Sunday, reversing the outcome of Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Swamp Rabbits.
THE SERIES: 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. Jake Jaremko (2 G, 6 A) and John McCarron (2 G, 6 A) have registered eight points apiece in games against the Gladiators.
SOUTH DIVISION PLAYOFF PICTURE: Both the Everblades and Gladiators have clinched spots in the upcoming Kelly Cup Playoffs and have the inside track on claiming the top two seeds in some order. Jacksonville (37-24-3-2, 79 points) sits in third place with a .598 points percentage. The battle for the fourth and final playoff spot between Orlando (31-28-6-1, 69 points) and Greenville (29-27-5-4, 67 points) has been a see-saw affair, as those clubs have points percentages of .523 and .515, respectively. The Solar Bears and Swamp Rabbits will meet just once more this season.
BIG GUNS LEAD BLADES: 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 in a tie for sixth with 67 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 ninth place with 65 points, while Blake Winiecki and Joe Pendenza lurk just outside the top-10 in T-11th and 13th place with 64 and 62 points, respectively. In goals scored, Angeli and Winiecki are tied for fifth in the league with 29 markers, while McCarron and Alex Aleardi are tied for ninth place with 28 lamplighters.
GAHAGEN HOISTS BLADES ON HIS SHOULDERS: With 24 saves in Monday’s 3-2 overtime win in Orlando, Everblades’ goaltender Parker Gahagen recorded his fourth straight win dating back to March 26. Gahagen (17-9-2-1) ranks fourth among ECHL netminders with a 2.23 GAA and stands in a tie for fifth with a .919 save percentage. Over his second four-game winning streak of the season, Gahagen has tallied a 1.71 GAA and a .936 save percentage. Dating back to March 1, Gahagen has compiled a 5-2-1-0 record with a 2.01 GAA and a .916 save mark.
CAPTAIN EVERBLADES LOOKING FOR ASSIST MARKS: 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 199 regular-season assists and 227 overall helpers, McCarron is closing in on Tom Buckley’s regular-season (207) and overall (230) records. Johnny Mac is eight regular-season assists and three 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 on 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