GREENVILLE, S.C. – Matteo Gennaro snapped a 1-1 tie late in the second period and Cam Johnson made 25 saves to lift the Florida Everblades to a 2-1 victory over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in game four of the 2022 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs South Division Semifinal Friday night in Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Sporting a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, the Blades are one win away from moving on to face the Jacksonville Icemen in the South Division Final.
Game five is slated for Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville.
Naples native Zach Solow got the Everblades off to a quick start just 4:22 into the contest, as he stuffed the puck into a wide-open net following a wraparound. Lukas Kaelble picked up the assist to give the Blades a 1-0 lead. For both Solow and Kaelble, the goal and assist were their first of the playoffs, respectively. Florida’s 1-0 lead would hold up into the first intermission.
Greenville’s Liam Pecararo knotted the score at 1-1 at 2:26 of the second period, scoring a power-play goal just 33 seconds into the Swamp Rabbits enjoying a 4-on-3 advantage.
The choppy play of a middle period marked by each team getting whistled for 10 penalty minutes on five minor infractions apiece continued, but the Everblades persevered. Gennaro snapped the 1-1 deadlock at the 16:34 mark with his team-high third goal of the playoffs. The late-season addition to the Blades’ converted a one-on-one opportunity in the low slot, while Darik Angeli and Ben Masella collected the apples giving the Blades a 2-1 lead heading into the final frame. Gennaro’s tally stretched his postseason point streak to four games.
Both teams had numerous opportunities over the final 20 minutes, but neither squad could find the net.
Greenville held a 26-22 advantage in shots on goal. Florida goaltender Cam Johnson won his second straight playoff games, registering 25 saves in the winning effort. John Lethemon made 20 saves for the Swamp Rabbits.
The rivals combined for 34 penalty minutes, with the Blades getting booked for nine infractions compared to eight for Greenville.
With the victory, Everblades head coach Brad Ralph earned his 50th playoff win as an ECHL head coach, which ranks fifth in league history.
The series rolls along with game five Saturday night in Greenville, when the Blades and Rabbits meet up again at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Action begins at 7:05 pm. Fans unable to make the road trip can 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.
If necessary, the Everblades will host game six of the division semifinal series on Monday, May 2. The action begins at 7:30 pm inside Hertz Arena and tickets can be purchased HERE.
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2022 Kelly Cup Playoff Tickets 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 or purchase HERE.
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.
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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.