ESTERO, Fla. -- 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.
The South Division Finals between the Everblades and Icemen moves to Jacksonville for Game Three this Tuesday, May 10. The action begins at 7:00pm inside Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. 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.