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Vander Esch Seals Series Sweep for Everblades, 1-0 in OT

Thursday, May 12th
Vander Esch Seals Series Sweep for Everblades, 1-0 in OT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Dylan Vander Esch scored the game-winning goal exactly five minutes into overtime as the Florida Everblades posted a 1-0 victory over the Jacksonville Icemen in Game Four of the 2022 Kelly Cup South Division Finals Wednesday night at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. With the four-game series sweep in the books, the Everblades head to the Eastern Conference Finals against the winner of the North Division Finals. Currently, the Reading Royals hold a 3-1 advantage over the Newfoundland Growlers, with Game Five slated for Thursday night in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Tickets for the Eastern Conference Finals will go on sale Thursday at 10:00 am at the Hertz Arena Fifth Third Box Office and via Ticketmaster, with the opponent, dates and time to be determined.

Vander Esch’s game-winning goal snapped a string of 120:57 of scoreless hockey between the clubs going back to 4:03 of the first period of Game Three.

Everblades goaltender Cam Johnson made 25 saves in his third shutout of the series and fifth consecutive playoff victory.

The opening period was a defensive battle and a harbinger of things to come, as neither side was able to claim an early lead, with the teams combining for a third consecutive scoreless period of hockey. Since the Everblades strung together two quick goals in the opening 4:03 of Game Three, the in-state rivals combined to play just under 76 minutes of scoreless hockey heading into the first intermission. Shots in the first period were even at six apiece.

Both goaltenders continued their perfect play throughout the second period, as both the Everblades’ Cam Johnson and Jacksonville’s Charles Williams registered nine saves apiece in the middle stanza, with shots on goal even at 15 per side through the first 40 minutes of play. As the teams' combined scoreless string reached 95:57 – just short of five full periods – both the Blades and Icemen entered the third frame coming up short on two power-play opportunities each. 

Once again, a penalty-free third period did not see the stalemate come to an end. The Everblades outshot the Icemen 9-7 to take a 24-22 edge in shots at the end of regulation. With a third scoreless period, the Sunshine State rivals extended their scoreless streak to 115:57, only 4:03 shy of two complete games.

In overtime, Vander Esch drove home a blast from the left circle off a feed from Blake Winiecki to close out the sweep exactly five minutes into the extra period.

Williams matched Johnson with 25 saves for the Icemen, whose season drew to a close.

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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.

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.

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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

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

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