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Everblades Open Eastern Conference Finals in Newfoundland

Friday, May 20th
Everblades Open Eastern Conference Finals in Newfoundland

ESTERO, Fla. – Coming off a four-game sweep of the Jacksonville Icemen in the South Division Finals, the Florida Everblades are primed for the 2022 Kelly Cup Eastern Conference Finals and a chance to secure the E.A. “Bud” Gingher Memorial Trophy against the Newfoundland Growlers, winners of the North Division. The best-of-seven series begins with two games in St. John’s, Newfoundland on Friday, May 20 and Sunday, May 22, with action getting underway at 5:30 pm EST. The winner will advance to the Kelly Cup Finals against either the Toledo Walleye or the Utah Grizzlies.

For the Everblades, this marks the first appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals since 2019 and seventh conference finals appearance in franchise history. The Blades are 4-2 all-time in the Eastern Finals, picking up series wins in 2004, 2005, 2012 and 2018, while coming up short in 2007 and 2019. Florida went on to win the Kelly Cup in 2012.

The series shifts to Hertz Arena for Games Three and Four on Wednesday, May 25 and Friday, May 27, with the puck dropping at 7:30 pm EST both nights. Should the series require a Game Five, that contest would also take place in Estero on Saturday, May 28 at 7 pm EST. If needed, Games Six and Seven would take place in Newfoundland. 

Fans unable to catch the Eastern Conference Finals in person can watch every Florida Everblades game on FloHockey.TV. In addition, fans can listen to the exciting game action online via Mixlr at www.mixlr.com/florida-everblades or on ESPN Southwest Florida on 770 AM, 98.1 FM, 104.3 FM. 

The first game of the Eastern Conference Finals can be heard in their entirety on Mixlr, with ESPN Southwest Florida joining the action in progress.

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

2022 KELLY CUP PLAYOFFS – EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS AT A GLANCE

Game 1 Friday, May 20 Everblades at Growlers Mary Brown’s Centre 7:00 pm NST / 5:30 pm EST

Game 2 Sunday, May 22 Everblades at Growlers Mary Brown’s Centre 7:00 pm NST / 5:30 pm EST

Game 3Wednesday, May 25Growlers at EverbladesHertz Arena7:30 pm EST

Game 4Friday, May 27Growlers at EverbladesHertz Arena7:30 pm EST

Game 5*Saturday, May 28Growlers at EverbladesHertz Arena7:00 pm EST

Game 6 * Tuesday, May 31 Everblades at Growlers Mary Brown’s Centre 7:00 pm NST / 5:30 pm EST

Game 7 * Wednesday, June 1 Everblades at Growlers       Mary Brown’s Centre 7:00 pm NST / 5:30 pm EST

 Home Games in Bold       * Games 5, 6 and 7, if Necessary

NEWS AND NOTES

LAST SERIES IN REVIEW: The Florida Everblades swept the Jacksonville Icemen four games to none in the 2022 Kelly Cup South Division Final to earn the franchise’s first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals since 2019. Florida opened the series with 2-0 and 5-3 wins at Hertz Arena before picking up a 2-0 victory in Game Three in Jacksonville and eventually closing out the series with a 1-0 overtime triumph at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena to finish off the four-game sweep.

THE OPPONENT: The Newfoundland Growlers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals with a 4-3 series win over the Reading Royals in the North Division Finals. Previously, the Growlers knocked off Trois-Rivières in seven games in the divisional semifinals. The ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, the Growlers were the second seed coming out of the North Division, posting a 42-20-4-1 regular-season record, second-best in the Eastern Conference. Newfoundland is appearing in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the second time since first taking to the ice in 2018-19, when they captured the Kelly Cup in their inaugural season. 

THE ALL-TIME SERIES: The Everblades and Growlers did not meet in the 2021-22 regular season. All-time, Florida has posted an 2-1 record in three regular-season meetings between the clubs. The Everblades claimed a 3-0 victory in the teams’ last meeting on February 28, 2020 behind a 32-save shutout from Cam Johnson. The teams also split the first two games of the 2018-19 regular season, trading 3-2 victories in Canada. In the only playoff series between the clubs, Newfoundland captured a 4-1 win in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals.

SECOND ROUND STANDOUTS: Goaltender Cam Johnson was the star of the Kelly Cup South Division Finals sweep of Jacksonville, as the Blades’ netminder registered three shutouts in four games. Johnson is now tied for fourth place in ECHL single-season shutouts, two behind the record of five set by Maxime Gingras of the Richmond Renegades in 1999. Over 224:31 in the series, Johnson posted a 0.74 GAA with a .969 save percentage. He turned aside 93 of 96 shots in the series. On the offensive end, Dylan Vander Esch led the Everblades with four points on one goal and a team-high three assists. His lone goal clinched the series, as it snapped a scoreless deadlock five minutes into overtime in Game Four. Joe Pendenza (2 G, 1 A) and John McCarron (1 G, 2 A) both picked up three points in the series.

CAM EYES THE TOP SPOT: Having run his 2022 playoff record to 7-0-1 in eight starts, Cam Johnson sits one win out of the ECHL playoff lead, trailing Toledo’s Billy Christopoulos who has recorded eight wins in 11 games. Johnson’s 1.38 GAA is behind only Jacksonville’s Charles Williams, who turned in a 1.32 GAA over four appearances. Johnson’s three shutouts makes him the only ECHL netminder with multiple playoff shutouts this season, while his .942 save percentage trails only Williams’ .952 mark.

RALPHIE TIED FOR THE TOP SPOT: With eight victories under his belt this postseason, Everblades head coach Brad Ralph stands in a tie for the all-time lead in ECHL playoff wins with 55, which John Brophy, who authored 55 playoff wins with Hampton Roads from 1989-2000. In terms of ECHL playoff games coached, Ralph sits alone in third place with 98. Martinson ranks second with 104 playoff games coached, while Thomas sets the standard at 108.  

PLAYOFF LEADERBOARD CHECK: Among ECHL playoff performers, Joe Pendenza currently ranks 16th with 11 total points.  Naples native Zach Solow stands in a tie for 10th among ECHL rookies with nine points (3 G, 6 A), while Stefan Leblanc’s six points (3 G, 3 A) places in a tie for ninth among defensemen. Leblanc also ranks in a tie for second among all players with three power-play goals.

WAY OUT WEST: The Everblades and Growlers will keep an eye on the Western Conference Finals as the Toledo Walleye meet the Utah Grizzlies.

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. 

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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.

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

Stay up to date by following the Florida Everblades on Social Media with all the latest news, scores and promotions on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tiktok, and Twitter.  

The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.

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