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Everblades Primed to Win Kelly Cup Saturday

Saturday, June 11th
Everblades Primed to Win Kelly Cup Saturday

ESTERO, Fla. – One. Win. Away. The Florida Everblades are one win away from winning the Kelly Cup for the second time in organization history, and the first time since 2012. With a 3-2 come-from-behind overtime victory in Game Four Friday night at Hertz Arena, the Everblades pulled ahead of the Toledo Walleye in the best-of-seven series by a 3-1 margin. Game Five will be played Saturday night at 7:00 pm and will be the final game played at Hertz Arena this postseason. Should Game Six or Game Seven be necessary, those games would be played in Toledo, Ohio next Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. 

With an assist on the first goal of Game Four, Naples native Zach Solow took over sole possession of the Everblades’ postseason scoring lead with 16 points, one ahead of John McCarron and Stefan Leblanc, who also logged an assist on Friday. Solow, who scored goals in Games One and Two of the Finals, has scored seven goals and added nine assists in 18 postseason contests. 

In the finals, Solow (2 G, 1 A) and Levko Koper (2 G, 2 A) are the only Everblades to pick up a point in three of the first four games.

On the defensive end, netminder Cam Johnson continues his exceptional play in goal, as he leads the league with 14 victories in 17 postseason outings, while also sitting in second place with a 1.90 GAA and a .930 save percentage. 

With a 15-3-1 playoff record, including 12 wins in their past 14 postseason games, dating back to Game Six of the South Division Semifinals, the Everblades are one win shy of the coveted 16 victories needed to capture the Kelly Cup. On home ice during the playoffs, the Blades are 7-3, while they improved to 8-0-1 on the road with the two victories in Toledo that opened the Finals. 

Fans unable to catch any of the Kelly Cup Finals games in person can watch every Florida Everblades game on FloHockey.TV. In addition, fans can listen to the exciting game action on ESPN Southwest Florida at www.espnswfl.com or 770 AM, 98.1 FM, 104.3 FM. 

2022 Kelly Cup Finals Tickets are now on sale at the Hertz Arena Fifth Third Box Office and via Ticketmaster. 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 FINALS AT A GLANCEEverblades Lead Series 3-1

Game 1 Friday, June 3 Everblades 3, Walleye 2

Game 2 Saturday, June 4 Everblades 3, Walleye 1

Game 3Wednesday, June 8Walleye 4, Everblades 1

Game 4Friday, June 10Everblades 3, Walleye 2 (OT)

Game 5Saturday, June 11Walleye at EverbladesHertz Arena7:00 pm

Game 6 * Tuesday, June 14 Everblades at Walleye Huntington Center 7:35 pm

Game 7 * Thursday, June 16 Everblades at Walleye       Huntington Center 7:35 pm

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

NEWS AND NOTES

GAME FOUR RECAP: Lukas Kaelble buried a feed from Matteo Gennaro with 4:15 remaining in overtime to lift the Florida Everblades to a thrilling, come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Toledo Walleye in Game Four of the Kelly Cup Finals Friday night at Hertz Arena. With the victory, the Everblades took a three-games-to-one lead in the series. Kaelble’s goal was his first of the playoffs and just his second marker of the season. Jordan Sambrook also earned an assist on the play. Trailing 2-1 in the final minute of regulation, the Everblades’ Joe Pendenza blasted home a goal with 20 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score at 2-2 and send the game into overtime. In the opening period, Jake McLaughlin brought the sold-out crowd of 7,535 fans on their feet with his first goal of the playoffs after 8:21 of play. On the Blades’ first power play of the night, Blake Winiecki fed the puck to McLaughlin who fired it in from the blue line. Toledo responded at 14:44 of the first period with a tally from Josh Dickinson to tie the game at one. The Walleye went ahead 2-1 as Matt Berry scored a power play goal with 2:34 remaining in the third period. Down 2-1 in the final minute of regulation, Pendenza and Kaelble made sure that the capacity-plus crowd went home happy. Cam Johnson (14-2-1) made 40 saves for the victorious Everblades, while his Toledo counterpart Billy Christopoulos (13-4-3) registered 44 stops at the other end of the rink for the hard-luck Walleye.

FINAL HOME TILT OF SEASON: Saturday night’s Game Five will be the final game of the year at Hertz Arena. The 2021-22 season got underway with a pair of exhibition games back on October 15 and 16. With two exhibitions, 36 regular-season home games and 11 playoff contests – including Saturday’s Game Five – the Everblades will have hosted a total of 49 games at Hertz Arena this season. During the regular season, the Blades posted a 19-13-1-3 home mark and enter Game Five with a 7-3 home playoff record. 

A GREAT RUN AFTER THE NEW YEAR: Combining the regular season and the Kelly Cup playoffs, the Everblades enter Game Five with 26 home victories against 20 defeats, but since January, home cooking has more than paid dividends for the good guys. After the calendar flipped over to 2022, the Blades posted a 15-5-2 regular-season record at home. Combined with a 7-3 home playoff tally, the Blades have won 22 times at Hertz Arena in 2022, while falling just 10 times.

GAME FIVE MEANS EXTRA TIME: The Everblades have played in Game Five twice this postseason, with both contests requiring overtime…and then some. In the South Division semifinals, the Blades dropped a 4-3 double overtime decision at Greenville back on April 30. The Swamp Rabbits postponed elimination, as the Everblades eventually closed out the series in six games. In their second Game Five of the Kelly Cup Playoffs, the Blades turned the tables, claiming a 6-5 victory over Newfoundland in the decisive game of the Eastern Conference Finals. That contest ended much quicker, as Xavier Bouchard netted the game winner just after just 60 seconds of bonus hockey. For Florida, Stefan Leblanc was the lone player to score goals in both Game Fives.

QUINCEAÑERA IN THE BOOKS; NEXT STOP SWEET SIXTEEN: With a 15-3-1 playoff record, including 12 wins in their past 14 postseason games dating back to Game Six of the South Division Semifinals, the Everblades are just one win shy of the 16 wins needed to capture the Kelly Cup. On home ice during the playoffs, the Blades are 7-3, while they improved to 8-0-1 on the road with the two victories in Toledo that opened the Finals. 

PACKING THEM IN: The great hockey fans of Southwest Florida came out in force for Game Four on Friday Night. The spirited crowd of 7,535 was the largest crowd at Hertz Arena of not just the Kelly Cup Playoffs, but the entire 2021-22 season. Friday night’s turnout eclipsed the regular-season high of 7,358 faithful that attended the Blades’ December 4 contest against Trois-Rivières.

WORKING OVERTIME: As we were reminded in Game Four, neither of the Kelly Cup finalists are strangers to needing more than 60 minutes to settle the score. Florida has played a league-best seven overtimes this postseason, while Toledo is right behind them with five extra-time battles. The Everblades have emerged with a 6-1 mark, one shy of the ECHL record for most overtime wins in one playoff year, while the Walleye sport a 2-3 tally. During the regular season, the Blades tied for the league-high with 16 games requiring overtime (5-6) or a shootout (1-4), while Toledo appeared in 12 contests going into OT (8-2) or a shootout (0-2).

CAM HE GET THE RECORD?: On the defensive end, netminder Cam Johnson continues his exceptional play in goal, as he leads the league with 14 victories in 17 postseason outings, while also sitting in second place with a 1.90 GAA and a .930 save percentage.  Grabbing a share of the ECHL record for shutouts in a single postseason remains in reach for Johnson, who has logged four shutouts in the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Johnson remains one clean sheet shy of matching the 23-year old record of five set by Maxime Gingras of the Richmond Renegades back in 1999.

GAME BY GAME: With 15 wins in 19 playoff games across four different series, the Everblades (15-4) have posted a perfect 4-0 record in Game One, a 3-1 mark in Game Two, a 3-1 tally in Game Three and a 3-1 mark in Game Four. The good guys are 1-1 in Game Five and 1-0 in Game Six.

RALPH UPDATE: With the first four games of the Kelly Cup Finals in the books, Everblades head coach Brad Ralph has now served as a head coach in 107 ECHL playoff games, just one game short of the league record. Ralph, the league’s all-time leader with 62 head coaching wins, ranks second all-time in postseason games coached in the ECHL, trailing just Matt Thomas (1st, 108).

BLADES IN THE KELLY CUP FINALS: The Everblades are making the franchise’s fifth appearance in the Kelly Cup Finals and are looking to hoist the hardware for the second time in club history. The Blades won it all in 2012, defeating the Las Vegas Wranglers four games to one. Other Kelly Cup Finals appearances include a 4-1 loss to the Idaho Steelheads in 2004, a 4-2 setback to the Trenton Titans in 2005, and a 4-3 series defeat at the hands of the Colorado Eagles in 2018.     

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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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Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Kelly Cup Finals Game 3
Wednesday, June 5th
Kelly Cup Finals Game 3
Puck Drops:
7:30 PM EDT
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Kelly Cup Finals Game 4
Friday, June 7th
Kelly Cup Finals Game 4
Puck Drops:
7:30 PM EDT
Hertz Arena
Kansas City Mavericks
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FLA Florida Everblades
Hertz Arena
Kelly Cup Finals Game 5
Saturday, June 8th
Kelly Cup Finals Game 5
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7:00 PM EDT
Hertz Arena
Kansas City Mavericks
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at
Florida Everblades
FLA Florida Everblades
Hertz Arena

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