ORLANDO, Fla. – In his first game for the Florida Everblades, Jake Smith came up big, scoring a goal to force overtime with 1:42 to play in regulation, but Jack Doughtery’s goal 45 seconds into overtime gave the Orlando Solar Bears a hard-fought 4-3 victory Saturday night at Amway Center.
A shorthanded goal by Orlando’s Joe Carroll seven minutes after the opening draw gave the Solar Bears an early 1-0 advantage.
In a busy second period, both teams collected two goals as Orlando took a 3-2 lead to the locker room after 40 minutes of play. At the 7:35 mark, Kyle Neuber knotted the game for the Everblades at 1-1, but two goals by Maxim Cajkovic at 8:08 and 13:11 put the Solar Bears back on top 3-1. Cam Morrison potted a shorthanded goal at 15:59 to pull the Everblades within one.
Smith’s goal in the third period for Florida and Dougherty’s overtime game-winner for Orlando closed out the scoring.
The Everblades outshot the Solar Bears 38-25, as Cam Johnson posted 21 saves in between the pipes for the Blades (9-3-2-1). Brad Barone made 35 saves to help Orlando (5-8-2-1) snap a five-game winless streak.
With the Everblades’ three-game road trip drawing to a close, the defending Kelly Cup Champions will return to Hertz Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 30 as the Kalamazoo Wings come to Southwest Florida for a 7:30 p.m. tilt to open a two-game set.
SCORING SUMMARY – Click for full box score 1st Period7:11 Orlando J. Carroll 6 SH (T. Langan, M. Brodzinski)2nd Period7:35 Florida K. Neuber 2 (S. Leblanc, J. Pendenza)8:08 Orlando M. Cajkovic 2 (J. Carroll, M. Foget)13:11 Orlando M. Cajkovic 3 (J. Carroll)15:59 Florida C. Morrison 3 SH (B. Masella, N. Kneen)3rd Period18:18 Florida J. Smith 5 (B. Masella, S. Leblanc)Overtime0:45 Orlando J. Dougherty 1 (M. Cajkovic)GOALTENDERSFlorida – Cam Johnson, 21 SavesOrlando – Brad Barone, 35 SavesTEAM STATISTICSShots on Goal – Florida 38, Orlando 25Power Plays – Florida 0-5, Orlando 0-1Shorthanded Goals – Florida 1, Orlando 1Penalties (Minutes) – Florida 2 (7), Orlando 6 (15)
NEWS AND NOTES
- Dating back to last season, the Everblades have picked up at least one point in the standings in nine straight games against the Solar Bears. In 2021-22, Florida won five of the last six games against the Solar Bears, while also picking up at least one point in the last eight meetings (6-0-2-0) on the road to a Kelly Cup Championship.
- Kyle Neuber picked up his second goal of the season, scoring twice in the last three games.
- With assists on Neuber’s goal, both Joe Pendenza and Stefan Leblanc extended their personal scoring streaks. Pendenza ran his point streak to five games (2 G, 4 A), while Leblanc, who added a helper on Jake Smith’s third-period goal, tallied at least one assist for the second consecutive contest.
- Ben Masella picked up at least one point for the second straight contest, grabbing helpers on Cam Morrison’s second-period goal and Smith’s third-period goal, one night removed from scoring his second goal of the young season.
- While Smith scored a clutch goal in his Everblades debut, it was his fifth ECHL goal of the season. Smith previously scored two goals apiece for the Iowa Heartlanders and the Norfolk Admirals.
With a three-game Sunshine State swing in the books, the defending Kelly Cup Champion Florida Everblades will return to Hertz Arena for a pair of games against the Kalamazoo Wings on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday’s contest will feature the popular Hump Day Deals with $3.00 Bud Light drafts and $3.00 hot dogs. On Saturday, get into character with us as your Blades will don specialty Scooby Doo jerseys for DC Comic/Warner Bros. character night! Themed intermission games and activities will transform Hertz Arena for the night. Following the game, fans are able to skate with the players on a first-come first-served basis. And don’t forget, we will also have live music for our Saturday Tailgate party!
JOIN THE FUN
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.
Calling all Everblades fans! Be among the first hockey fans in Southwest Florida to show off your pride in the newly-crowned Kelly Cup Champion Florida Everblades! Grab the newest and hottest merchandise by checking out the entire collection that is available online by visiting shop.floridaeverblades.com or at the Hertz Arena Pro Shop!
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 everblades.mixlr.com.
The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and the AHL's Charlotte Checkers.