ESTERO, Fla. – Blake Winiecki snapped a 1-1 tie with 27 seconds left to play in regulation, lifting the first-place Florida Everblades to a 2-1 victory over the Jacksonville Icemen Wednesday night at Hertz Arena. The triumph extended the Everblades’ home winning streak to seven games and gave Florida a three-point lead over Jacksonville and South Carolina in the ECHL South Division.
Winiecki’s game-winner was his 12th goal of the season, as Cam Darcy and Nolan Kneen added the game-winning assists.
After a scoreless first period, the Everblades wasted little time taking a 1-0 lead as Jake Smith collected his 18th goal of the season just 3:16 into the second frame, extending his team-high point streak to five games. Cole Moberg and Joe Pendenza picked up the assists. For Pendenza, the helper was his team-best 27th of the year.
Jacksonville spoiled Cam Johnson’s bid for a third shutout, as Craig Martin knotted the score at 1-1 14:57 of the third period, but Winiecki’s last-minute heroics made Johnson, who had 22 saves, a winner for the 20th time this season, tops in the ECHL.
Florida outshot Jacksonville in each of the three periods and claimed a 34-23 advantage in the contest.
Next up, the Orlando Solar Bears return to The Swamp 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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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and the AHL's Charlotte Checkers.