NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – James McEwan snapped a 2-2 tie with his first career game-winning goal in the third period and ECHL All-Star Cam Johnson turned aside 38 shots to lift the Florida to a 4-2 win over the South Carolina Stingrays Saturday evening at North Charleston Coliseum.
The victory handed South Carolina its first home loss in regulation time this season, snapping the Stingrays’ 15-game home unbeaten streak (13-0-2-0).
McEwan gave the Everblades their third – and final – lead of the game, potting his fourth goal of the season at 4:42 of the third period to put the visitors ahead for good, 3-2.
ECHL All-Star Cam Johnson became the first goalie in the league to reach 16 wins this season, making 16 saves in a busy opening period, a baker’s dozen in the middle frame and 10 in the final stanza.
Despite being outshot 17-7 in the first period, the Everblades managed to take a 1-1 decision into the first intermission. Blake Winiecki opened the scoring for Florida with his eighth goal of the season at 5:17 of the first period, but the Stingrays’ Justin Florek collected the equalizer just over four minutes later.
The game was deadlocked at 40 minutes, as the teams traded early second-period goals. For the Blades, Oliver Chau gave Florida a shorthanded goal for the third straight game. Chau’s eighth tally of the season came at the 3:03 mark, but South Carolina’s Alexandre Fortin converted on the power play just 20 seconds later and knotted the game at 2-2.
In addition to McEwan’s goal in the third period, Cam Darcy added an empty-net goal in the final minute to close out the scoring.
The four-game road trip concludes with an afternoon tilt against the Stingrays on Sunday. The puck will drop at 3:05 p.m.
SCORING SUMMARY – Click for full box score 1st Period 5:17 Florida B. Winiecki 8 (O. Chau, K. Roth) 9:25 South Carolina J. Florek 10 (M. Anderson, J. Wilkins) 2nd Period 3:03 Florida O. Chau 8 SH (C. Moberg) 3:23 South Carolina A. Fortin 8 PP (M. Kim, J. Evans) 3rd Period 4:42 Florida J. McEwan 4 (J. Smith, R. Calisti)
19:26 Florida C. Darcy 6 EN (J. Pendenza) GOALTENDERS Florida – Cam Johnson, 38 Saves South Carolina – Clay Stevenson, 18 Saves
TEAM STATISTICS Shots on Goal – Florida 22, South Carolina 40 Power Plays – Florida 0-2, South Carolina 1-4 Shorthanded Goals – Florida 1, South Carolina 0 Penalties (Minutes) –Florida 5 (13), South Carolina 3 (9)
NEWS AND NOTES
Blake Winiecki staked the Everblades to a 1-0 lead with his eighth goal of the season, as he snapped a personal three-game stretch without a goal. It marked the second time this season that Winiecki lit the lamp with the game’s first goal, while Florida opened the scoring for the third consecutive game.
Oliver Chau’s eighth goal of the season was also Blades’ third shorthanded goal in as many games. Thanks to an assist on Winiecki’s tally, Chau has five multi-point games this year after. The rookie picked up two points in just his second game after sitting out seven straight contests.
James McEwan scored a goal for the first time in four games and it was a big one, going down as the first game-winning goal of his professional career.
With assist on McEwan’s goal, Jake Smith stretched his point streak to eight games. Dating back to December 29, Smith has eight points on three goals and five assists in that run.
Cam Darcy’s empty-net goal was his first score since he posted a hat trick versus Orlando on December 29.
Joe Pendenza picked up an assist on Darcy’s empty-netter to extend his point streak to eight games. Pendenza has registered 10 points on four goals and six assists in those eight games.
In the assist department, Robert Calisti has assists in back-to-back games for the first time since November 12-13, while Cole Moberg and Kobe Roth registered their first helpers in four games and three games, respectively.
The road trip will wrap up with another contest against the South Carolina Stingrays in North Charleston on Sunday, January 15 at 3:05 p.m.
Following the ECHL All-Star Break which is headlined by the 2023 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Optima Health and Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk, Virginia on Monday, January 16, the Everblades will return to Hertz Arena on Friday, January 20 and Saturday, January 21 for back-to-back games against the Savannah Ghost Pirates at 7:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively.
On Friday night, Blades fans can take advantage of the popular 239 Friday Deals and pick up two tickets, two programs and two slices of pizza for the extra special price of $39! In addition, kids 12 and under can eat free at Breakaway Sports Pub.
Saturday’s game will be preceded by our Saturday tailgate, which features live music from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
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.
Group Packages are available for a group of 10 or more!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.
Grab the newest and hottest Everblades 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.