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JOHNSON SAVES 53, BUT BLADES FALL IN OT

Sunday, February 5th
JOHNSON SAVES 53, BUT BLADES FALL IN OT

ORLANDO, Fla. –  Cam Johnson registered 53 saves, becoming the first Florida Everblades goaltender to face more than 50 shots in more than 12 years, but the Blades dropped a 5-4 overtime  heartbreaker to the Orlando Solar Bears Saturday night at Amway Center. 

Four different players scored goals and six different players registered assists for Florida.

The first period saw the teams combine for 38 shots on goal, but sensational goalie play on both ends of the ice was the story of the opening 20 minutes. Orlando’s Tristan Langan collected the period’s only marker at 13:34 to stake the Solar Bears to a 1-0 lead. While the Blades were outshot in the period 21-17. Johnson’s 20 saves matched the most stops by an ECHL goalie in the first period this season. Orlando’s Jack LaFontaine was just off the pace with 17 saves.

Business picked up in the second period, as the teams combined for five goals, with the Everblades scoring three of them. Cam Darcy (3:17) scored his ninth of the season, Levko Koper (10:42) potted his eighth of the year and second in as many games, and Blake Winiecki (15:08) converted a power-play tally 11th of the campaign. Orlando got game-tying goals from Langan (12:34), his second of the contest, and Shawn Szydlowski (18:28) on the power play.

In the busy second period, Orlando outshot the Everblades 20-12, as Johnson registered made another 18 stops, giving him 38 saves, three off his season high, after 40 minutes.

Both defenses buckled down over the first half of the third period, but both teams would pick up third-period goals. For the Everblades, Joe Pendenza snapped the 3-3 draw with his 15th goal of the year at the 12:28 mark to restore the Blades’ lead to 4-3. Orlando would get a third game-tying goal moments later, as Szydlowski’s second of the night tied the score at 4-4 at 15:13 as neither team would convert before regulation time expired.In the overtime period, Orlando’s Joe Carroll scored the game-winner 5:10 into the seven-minute extra period.

Orlando outshot the Everblades in regulation 52-38 and 58-42 through overtime.

With the quick two-game road swing out of the way, the Everblades head home to Southwest Florida for a three-game homestand. The Swamp will be ready to rock on Wednesday, February 8 with a 7:30 p.m. contest versus the Jacksonville Icemen. Following the key midweek South Division tilt, the Orlando Solar Bears return to Estero for back-to-back games on Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11, with puck drops slated for 7:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively.

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