ESTERO, Fla. – The final two regular-season games are here and promise to be the biggest games of the season. The Florida Everblades will host the Atlanta Gladiators on Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 with the ECHL South Division championship and the top seed in the upcoming Kelly Cup Playoffs in the balance. The Blades (40-20-6-4) and Glads (43-23-3-1) are tied for the top spot in the south with 90 points and .643 points percentages with two regular-season games left to play.
ON ICE THIS WEEK
Friday, April 15Gladiators at Everblades Hertz Arena 7:30 pm
PROMOTIONS: 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.
Saturday, April 16Gladiators at Everblades Hertz Arena 7:00 pm
PROMOTIONS: With warm weather year-round, it's always tailgating season in Southwest Florida! 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!
Read more about the Blades’ busy promotional schedule and great deals HERE.
NEWS AND NOTES
LAST WEEK IN REVIEW: Visiting three different states for four games in six days, the Everblades posted a 3-1 record to pick up six of a possible eight points and move into a share of first place in the ECHL South Division heading into final week of the regular season. The Blades claimed a 3-2 overtime win in Orlando on Monday, picked up a crucial 7-1 victory in Atlanta on Wednesday, and ended the week splitting two games in South Carolina. Florida knocked off the Stingrays 5-1 on Friday, but saw a four-game winning streak come to an end 6-3 on Saturday.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT: The Atlanta Gladiators skate into Hertz Arena for the final two games of the regular season on Friday and Saturday. Both the Everblades and Gladiators have exactly 90 points and are tied for the first place in the South Division with identical .643 points percentages, the metric used to determine seeding for the upcoming ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Glads picked up a 5-3 win over the Jacksonville Icemen, snapping a two-game winning streak in which the Everblades and Icemen combined to outscore Atlanta 11-2. Over the past 10 games, the Gladiators have compiled a 6-4 record.
THE SERIES: The Everblades hold a 6-3-2-0 in 11 meetings this season, winning three of five games in Hertz Arena and posting a 3-1-2 record in games played in Duluth, Georgia. Florida has won the last two matchups, claiming a 3-2 home victory on January 22 and earning a 7-1 road win last Wednesday. Over those 11 meetings, the Blades have outscored Atlanta 36-24. Blake Winiecki (2 G, 9 A) tops the Blades with 11 points, while Alex Aleardi has a team-high five goals. John McCarron (3 G, 7 A) and Jake Jaremko (3 G, 7 A) have both compiled 10 points. In goal, Parker Gahagen is 2-1-1 with a 2.00 GAA and a .921 save percentage in four games, while Tomas Vomacka is 1-1-1 with a 2.68 GAA and .920 save percentage in three outings.
SOUTH DIVISION PLAYOFF PICTURE: While the Everblades and Gladiators will finish in the top two spots in some order, Jacksonville (38-26-3-2, 81 points, .587 points percentage) will be the presumptive third seed, as they sport an eight-point lead over Greenville, which has four games yet to play. The Swamp Rabbits (32-27-5-4, 73, .537) have the edge over Orlando (32-29-6-1, 71, .522) for the fourth and final playoff spot in the South. The Solar Bears have three games remaining.
TOP-10 BLADES: John McCarron, Blake Winiecki and Darik Angeli enter the final week of the regular-season ranked among the ECHL’s top-10 in points. McCarron ranks sixth with 70 points, while Winiecki and Angeli are tied for seventh with 69 points. In the goals category, Winiecki is tied for third in the league with 32 markers, while Alex Aleardi is tied for seventh with 30 goals, while McCarron and Angeli round out the top-10 with 29 lamp-lighters each.
CAPTAIN RECORD BOOK: In Saturday’s game at South Carolina, John McCarron set the Everblades career record for overall assists, recording his 231st helper on a Blake Winiecki goal in the third period. Captain Everblade eclipsed the standard of 230 assists originally established by Tom Buckley from 1999 through 2004. The assist also gave McCarron his 400th point in an Everblades sweater. McCarron now holds the Blades franchise records for points (400), goals (169) and assists (231). One more major franchise awaits, as McCarron sits just four regular-season assists behind Buckley’s regular-season assist mark of 207.
NEXT UP IN THE SWAMP: As one of the top two seeds in the South Division, the Everblades will have home-ice advantage for their opening-round, best-of-seven series in the 2022 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs. Opponent, dates and start times will be announced.
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.