JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Cam Johnson made 27 saves in his second shutout of the series, while Zach Solow and Joe Pendenza scored goals in the opening minutes to lead the Florida Everblades to a critical 2-0 win in Game Three of the 2022 Kelly Cup South Division Finals Tuesday night in VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Sporting a 3-0 series lead, the Everblades will look to close out the series Wednesday night in Jacksonville. Game Four will get underway at 7:00 pm.
For the third straight game in the series, the visiting Everblades struck first as Solow backhanded home a feed from Alex Aleardi to spot Florida a 1-0 lead on their first shot just 2:52 into the contest. The goal was Solow’s third of the playoffs. A mere 1:11 later, Pendenza doubled the advantage to 2-0 on the team’s second shot, closing out an end-to-end rush with Dylan Vander Esch and Lukas Kaelble earning the assists. The Blades’ postseason point leader, Pendenza picked up his fourth tally of the playoffs and notched a point for the fourth straight game.
The back-to-back quick strikes sent ECHL Goaltender of the Year Francois Brassard of Jacksonville to an early exit for the second consecutive contest. Brassard, who was relieved after one period in Game Two, lasted just 4:03 into Game Three after surrendering goals on both shots he faced. At the other end of the ice, Everblades’ netminder Cam Johnson registered 13 saves in a busy opening stanza, while Charles Williams registered eight saves in a backup role for the Icemen.
In the second period, neither team managed to find the net, just the first scoreless period of the series since the opening frame of Game One. The Everblades outshot the Icemen 13-8 over the middle 20 minutes, reversing the shot count from the opening frame.
The final period started with both teams remaining quiet on the offensive end, but matters got a bit tense for the Blades midway through the final period, as the Icemen enjoyed a five-on-three advantage for 1:13, but the good guys’ penalty kill unit staved off a Jacksonville two-man advantage that expired at the 10:40 mark.Holding onto a 2-0 lead, Florida went on a man advantage with 2:40 to play, but could not add an insurance goal, even with the Icemen pulling Williams over the closing moments.
The Everblades outshot the Icemen for the third straight game in the series 30-27. Johnson made 27 saves and recorded his fourth straight playoff win and third victory of the series for Florida, while Williams turned aside 28 shots in a relief effort for Jacksonville, which now finds themselves one game away from elimination.
The South Division Finals between the Everblades and Icemen continues with Game Four on Wednesday night. The action begins at 7:00 pm inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville. 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.
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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.
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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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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.