ALLEN, Texas – Brad Morrison and Kody McDonald scored two goals apiece, Xavier Cormier registered four assists and the Florida Everblades scored three goals in both of the first two periods to roll to an explosive 8-5 victory over the Allen Americans Wednesday night at the Credit Union of Texas Event Center. With the victory, the Everblades (28-11-4-3) reclaimed sole possession of first place in the ECHL South Division.
After coming up empty in the first period for four straight games, the Everblades exploded for three goals in less than five minutes to take a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes in their first-ever game in Allen. Joe Pendenza (13:03) and Kobe Roth (13:38) opened the scoring with tallies just 35 seconds apart. Pendenza’s 17th of the season extended his team-high point streak to five games, while Roth’s 13th of the campaign gave him a goal in three straight contests.
After Allen’s Colton Hargrove netted his 25th goal of the year on the power play at 15:33 to extend his point streak to a league-best 22 games, Kody McDonald picked a most opportune time for his first goal this season, as the Everblades closed out the first-period scoring at 17:56. Six different skaters registered assists for Florida, which outshot the Americans 16-8 in the opening frame.
The Americans struck first in the second period, as Hank Crone’s 24th goal of the season trimmed the Everblades’ lead to 3-2 just three minutes into the middle stanza, but Oliver Chau restored Florida’s two-goal advantage at 4-2 with his 10th goal of the year at 8:19. Morrison’s eighth and ninth markers of the season at 14:45 and 18:43, respectively, extended the Everblades’ lead to 6-2 heading into the second intermission.
While Hargrove’s second power-play goal of the contest just 22 seconds into the final period trimmed the Everblades’ lead to 6-3, McDonald responded with his second of the night just 63 seconds later to put the visitors ahead 7-3. Levko Koper extended the Florida lead to 8-3 with his ninth of the season at the 8:41 mark. Hargrove completed the hat trick at 13:39 and Crone scored his second on the night with a power-play goal at 16:18 to pull Allen within three, 8-5.
Florida claimed a dominant 41-29 advantage in shots on goal in the contest and Evan Fitzpatrick (7-3-0-0) made 24 saves to snap a personal two-game losing streak. Allen (22-24-1-0) remained tied for fourth place in the ECHL Mountain Division.
Seven players collected multiple points for Florida which saw 12 different players factor into the scoring. In addition to Cormier’s four-assist showing, the Everblades received three-point efforts from Morrison (2 G, 1 A) and Blake Winiecki (3 A), and two-point outings from McDonald (2 G), Pendenza (1 G, 1 A), Robert Calisti (2 A) and former American Nolan Kneen (2 A).
The Everblades improved to 3-0 versus the Western Conference this season and have outscored Western opponents 15- 6 this season. Florida is now 3-1 all-time versus Allen.
Action in the Lone Star State continues with two more games in Allen as the Everblades and Americans resume play on Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18. Both games are slated to get underway at 8:05 p.m.
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