ESTERO, Fla. – After turning in an impressive 2-0 victory over the Jacksonville Icemen in Game One of the 2022 Kelly Cup South Division Finals, the Florida Everblades look to double up on their 1-0 series lead as the Sunshine State rivals meet up for Game Two Saturday night at Hertz Arena. The puck drops at 7:00 pm.
With another win on Saturday, the Everblades would take a two-game lead on the road to North Florida, as Jacksonville plays host to Games Three and Four on Tuesday, May 10 and Wednesday, May 11. If necessary, the Icemen would also host Game Five on Friday, May 13.
Saturday’s game two also features a pregame tailgate from 5:00 - 7:00 pm with live music and fun activities for the kids! Secure tickets for a special and festive Saturday night by visiting HERE.
2022 KELLY CUP PLAYOFFS – SECOND ROUND AT A GLANCEEverblades Lead Series 1-0
Game 1 Friday, May 6 Everblades 2, Icemen 0
Game 2Saturday, May 7 Icemen at EverbladesHertz Arena7:00 pm
Game 3 Tuesday, May 10 Everblades at Icemen Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena 7:00 pm
Game 4 Wednesday, May 11 Everblades at Icemen Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena 7:00 pm
Game 5 * Friday, May 13 Everblades at Icemen Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena 7:00 pm
Game 6 * Monday, May 16Icemen at EverbladesHertz Arena7:30 pm
Game 7 *Tuesday, May 17 Icemen at EverbladesHertz Arena7:30 pm
Home Games in Bold * Games 5, 6 and 7, if necessary
NEWS AND NOTES
GAME ONE RECAP: Goaltender Cam Johnson pitched a 22-save shutout on Friday night as the Everblades claimed a 2-0 victory over the Jacksonville Icemen in Game One of the 2022 South Division Finals. The Everblades set the tone at Hertz Arena with plenty of quality chances on Icemen goaltender Francois Brassard, but both teams stayed off the scoreboard after one period. The stanza saw its lone penalty go to Jacksonville’s Luke Lynch. The shots on net total went to the Blades with a count of 15-6. The evening’s first goal came off the tape of Florida’s Alex Aleardi, who scored on a rush alongside Jake Jaremko for a 1-0 Blades lead at 3:47 of the second period. Backchecking continued to be a strong suit for each side with the Blades maintaining their one-goal edge after forty minutes of play. The Everblades and Icemen were 0-for-2 respectively on the power play at the second intermission. Jacksonville placed a flurry of chances onto Johnson in the final minute of regulation before Joe Pendenza tapped in the empty-net goal with four seconds to spare. Lukas Kaelble assisted on the insurance play which clinched the Blades win at a 2-0 final score. Johnson’s perfect performance advanced his playoff record to 4-0-1 in net during the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
CLOSE GAME IS PAR FOR THE COURSE: Friday night’s 2-0 victory in Game One of the South Division finals marked the 10th time in 11 games between the Everblades and Icemen this season that one of the clubs claimed victory by two goals or less. With the exception of a 5-1 Jacksonville victory in the season opener, every game between the rivals has been decided by either one or two goals. Including the playoff series opener, the Everblades are 3-0 versus the Icemen in two-goal games. Seven of the 10 regular-season meetings between the teams this season were decided by one goal, with two ending in overtime and four requiring a shootout.
THE BEARD IS FEARED: With the game-winning goal in Friday’s 2-0 win, Alex Aleardi continues to shine against Jacksonville this season. Including eight regular-season games versus the Icemen, the bearded one leads the Everblades with 12 points and seven goals. Aleardi now sports an eight-game point streak against the Icemen including both the regular season and the playoffs. The Fort Wayne, Indiana native did not factor in the scoring on opening night, but has picked up at least one point in every game in which he has suited up against the Icemen. He has scored goals in six different games against Jacksonville this season.
CAM, CAM BABY!: With his first career postseason shutout on Friday – and the first playoff shutout by an Everblades goalie since Callum Booth on May 2, 2019 (2-0 win at Orlando) – Cam Johnson continues to shine in the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs. In five playoff starts, Johnson sports a 4-0-1-0 record with a stellar 1.61 GAA and a .932 save percentage. Among ECHL netminders, Johnson’s four victories is tied for second, while he also ranks third in GAA and fourth in save percentage.
PASSING THE TORCH: Matteo Gennaro’s six-game playoff point streak was snapped in Game One of the South Division finals, but Zach Solow ran his playoff streak to four straight games. With an assist on Alex Aleardi’s game-winning goal, Solow tallied his fifth point in the last four contests. Over that run, the Naples, Florida native has scored two goals and handed out three assists.
NOT A SOLOW EFFORT: Besides Zach Solow’s four-game point streak, several other Everblades have budding streaks in the offing. Joe Pendenza’s name has been on the scoresheet in back-to-back games, with four points on three goals and one helper. Jake Jaremko and Lukas Kaelble have registered assists in each of the Blades’ last two outings.
RALPH ON A ROLL: With five wins this postseason, Everblades head coach Brad Ralph stands alone in fourth place all-time in ECHL playoff wins with 52. Ralph is two wins shy of second place, which is shared by current Allen Americans head coach Steve Martinson and longtime veteran Matt Thomas, both of whom have 54 ECHL postseason victories. The all-time leader, John Brophy, authored 55 playoff wins with Hampton Roads from 1989-2000. In terms of ECHL playoff games coached, Ralph sits alone in third place with 95, one ahead of Brophy and veteran Jason Christie. Martinson ranks second with 104 playoff games coached, while Thomas sets the standard at 108.
BEASTS OF THE EAST: While the Everblades lead Jacksonville 1-0 in the South Division finals, Reading and Newfoundland will get underway in the North Division Finals Saturday night.
WAY OUT WEST: On Friday, Toledo claimed a 5-1 victory over Wheeling and currently lead the Central Division Finals 1-0, while Utah topped Rapid City 5-1 to claim a 1-0 lead in the Mountain Division Finals.
BLADES KELLY CUP HISTORY: In the franchise’s 24th season, the Everblades have qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs every season except for one. The Blades have advanced to the Kelly Cup finals four times and are seeking their second Kelly Cup championship, having hoisted the hardware previously in 2012.
JOIN THE FUN
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.
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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.
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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.