NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – After scoring 12 total goals over the previous two games, the Florida Everblades (40-20-6-4) found the offense a bit harder to come by in their final regular-season road game of the year, dropping a 6-3 decision to the South Carolina Stingrays (27-37-6-0) Saturday night at North Charleston Coliseum. While the setback halted the Blades’ four-game winning streak, the good guys enjoyed a successful road trip, earning six of a possible eight points over the six-day jaunt across three states.
In the contest, John McCarron set the Everblades career record for 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. McCarron now holds the Everblades franchise records for points (400), goals (169) and assists (231).
South Carolina came out firing, scoring twice in the first five minutes and jumping out to a 3-0 lead after one period. Matt Anderson (3:25), Jonny Evans (4:50) and Cam Strong (11:13) each found the net for the Stingrays. While the Everblades created numerous opportunities late in the period, the Rays ended the frame with a 19-12 edge in shots on goal.
Alex Aleardi put the Everblades on the board eight minutes into the second period, burying his 30th goal of the season on a powerful slapshot from between the circles following feeds from Kody McDonald and Ben Masella. The assist by Masella marked the 100th point of the defenseman’s six-year professional career, as Florida trimmed the deficit to 3-1.
Capitalizing on a two-man advantage at 13:11, Evans’ second goal of the night bumped the South Carolina back up to three goals, 4-1 after 40 minutes. On the attack for most of the middle period, the Everblades claimed a 22-9 edge in shots on goal.
In the final stanza, the teams alternated goals, with each club finding the net twice. Winiecki scored at the 3:16 and 12:19 marks. On the first goal, McCarron picked up his historic assist, while Jake Jaremko also collected a helper. Dylan Vander Esch and Stefan Leblanc earned the assists on Winiecki’s second tally, which gave the Minnesota native a team-high 32nd goal of the season.
Derek Gentile (3:59) and Kevin Fitzgerald (14:07) added goals in the final frame for South Carolina.
Both teams took 12 shots on goal in the third period, and the Everblades claimed a 46-40 edge for the game.
Parker Gahagen (18-10-2-1) made 34 saves despite seeing his personal five-game winning streak, longest by an Everblade goalie this season, come to an end. Stingrays’ netminder Hunter Shepard (11-8-2-0) registered 43 saves and earned the win.
The Everblades will return to Hertz Arena for the final two games of the regular season on Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 as The Swamp plays host to a showdown for first place in the ECHL South Division with the Atlanta Gladiators (42-23-3-1). Both clubs have already qualified for the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs and continue to battle for the top seed in the division. Friday’s game is slated for 7:30 pm, while Saturday’s regular-season finale gets underway at 7:00 pm.
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 ice creams for just $39! The action begins at 7:30 pm and tickets can be purchased HERE.Read more about the Blades’ busy promotional schedule and great deals HERE.
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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.
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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals