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Everblades Primed to Extend Series Lead on the Road

Tuesday, May 10th
Everblades Primed to Extend Series Lead on the Road

ESTERO, Fla. – The Florida Everblades skate into Jacksonville for Games Three and Four of the 2022 Kelly Cup South Division Finals with a two games to none lead in the best of seven series. The Icemen will host the next two contests on Tuesday and Wednesday and, if necessary, will also entertain the Blades for Game Five on Friday, May 13. All games in Jacksonville’s Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena are slated to get underway at 7:00 pm.Over the first two games, the Everblades have claimed a 7-3 scoring advantage, winning Game One by a 2-0 count and taking Game Two 5-3. Florida has also registered a 62-42 edge in shots on goal. On special teams, Jacksonville has a slight edge on the power play, scoring twice in six tries, while the Everblades have converted once in seven opportunities.Follow along with tonight's action live on FloHockey or listen to the game on ESPN Southwest Florida online or on 770 AM, 98.1 FM, 104.3 FM.Should additional contests be required past Game Five, the series would shift back to Hertz Arena for Game Six on Monday, May 16 and possibly Game Seven on Tuesday, May 17, with both contests slated for a 7:30 pm puck drop. 

2022 KELLY CUP PLAYOFFS – SECOND ROUND AT A GLANCEEverblades Lead Series 2-0

Game 1 Friday, May 6 Everblades 2, Icemen 0

Game 2Saturday, May 7 Everblades 5, Icemen 3

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 TWO RECAP: After a 4-0 scoring run, the Everblades halted a near comeback bid from the Jacksonville Icemen on Saturday night with their 5-3 win at Hertz Arena. The victory advanced the Everblades to a 2-0 series lead in the South Division Finals. After the Blades’ first goal of the night was waved off, John McCarron (12:28) answered with one that counted. Derek Angeli found the captain in the slot and he snapped a shot past Jacksonville’s Francois Brassard for a 1-0 Florida lead in the first period. From there, the Everblades cracked the code of the Icemen defense and piled on three more goals between Matteo Gennaro (15:20), Stefan Leblanc (18:13) and Stephen Desrocher (18:55) to make it 4-0 at the first intermission. It was the second time that the Blades scored four times in a single period in the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs. After a deflating opening period, Brendan Harris picked up the Icemen with a tally just 34 seconds into the second. His success came on a power play with assists from Christopher Brown and Jacob Panetta. James Sanchez (19:35) earned another to reduce Jacksonville’s deficit to 4-2 heading ahead of the intermission. The Icemen’s Charles Williams came in relief of Brassard at the beginning of the second period and denied all eight shots faced through the stanza. The Jacksonville comeback bid came closer than ever at 4-3 thanks to Luke Lynch’s drive to the top shelf at the 3:26 mark of the third period. However, the Everblades would put the game away for good with Levko Koper’s empty-netter with 61 seconds remaining on the board. The 5-3 final score represented Cam Johnson’s fifth win across six starts in net for the Blades during the playoffs. He stopped 17 of 20 shots during the evening.

CLOSE GAMES CONTINUE: Saturday night’s 5-3 Everblades victory in Game Two of the South Division finals marked the 11th time in 12 games this season between the Blades and Icemen 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 two playoff wins, the Everblades are 4-0 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. 

FOUR GOALS IN LESS THAN SEVEN MINUTES...AGAIN: The Everblades’ four-goal first period not only lifted the good guys to a 5-3 win on Saturday, but it marked the second time in five periods that the Blades accomplished that feat. Florida closed out the Division Semifinals over Greenville with a four-goal third period on May 2, collecting all four goals in a 6:57 span. Saturday’s offensive explosion was just a tad quicker, as the Blades strung together four tallies in a 6:27 stretch. In both of the Everblades’ four goal periods this postseason, eight different Blades factored in the scoring.

YES, HE CAM: Allowing just three goals en route to two victories in the first two games of the South Division Finals, Everblades goaltender Cam Johnson now sits atop the ECHL Playoff leaderboard with a 1.82 GAA over six playoff outings. Johnson took the top spot away from Jacksonville’ Francois Brassard, who saw his GAA climb to 1.86 with four goals allowed in just one period of action in Game Two. Johnson’s second win of the current series gave him five playoff wins in 2022, just one behind league leader Billy Christopoulos of Toledo. In this year’s Kelly Cup Playoffs, Johnson sports a 5-0-1 record in six games, while Christopoulos stands 6-2-1 in nine appearances. Back in Game One, Johnson authored his first career postseason shutout and spun the first playoff shutout by an Everblades goalie since Callum Booth turned in a clean sheet on May 2, 2019 in a 2-0 win at Orlando. 

GENNARO SAYS EIGHT IS GREAT: Matteo Gennaro continues to be a factor in every postseason game for the Everblades, as he ran his playoff point streak to eight games (5 G, 4 A) with his first-period goal in Florida’s 5-3 victory on Saturday night. Gennaro, who ranks second on the Everblades with nine points in the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs, has the second-longest active point streak in the league, one behind Utah’s Charle-Edouard D’Astous who has picked up a point in each of the Grizzlies’ first nine postseason games, collecting 17 points on 12 goals and five assists. Gennaro has found the net three times on the power play, tied with teammate Stefan Leblanc for second in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

SUPER JOE ON A ROLL: Joe Pendenza continues to shine for the Everblades, as he extended his playoff point streak to three games with an assist on Levko Koper’s third-period tally that closed out the Everblades’ 5-3 win on Saturday. Over the last three games, Pendenza has recorded five points on three goals and two helpers. The Blades’ leading playoff scorer with 10 points (3 G, 7 A), Pendenza has notched at least one point in six of the Everblades’ contests. With three multi-point games this postseason, Pendenza tops all Everblades in the category.

RALPH IS MOVING ON UP: With six victories under his belt this postseason, Everblades head coach Brad Ralph stands alone in fourth place all-time in ECHL playoff wins with 53. Ralph is one win 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 96, two ahead of Brophy and veteran Jason Christie. Martinson ranks second with 104 playoff games coached, while Thomas sets the standard at 108. 

KELLY CUP UPDATE: All four division finals have shifted venues, and three of the four top seeds held serve on home ice. In the East, while the Everblades hold a 2-0 lead over Jacksonville, the Reading Royals and Newfoundland Growlers are the only series even at 1-1. Out west, the Toledo Walleye hold a 2-0 edge over the Wheeling Nailers, while the Utah Grizzlies also sport a 3-0 advantage over the Rapid City Rush.

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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