ESTERO, Fla. – Joe Pendenza scored two of the Florida Everblades’ three first-period goals and Evan Fitzpatrick won his third consecutive start as the Blades closed out the 2022-23 regular season with a 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Gladiators Saturday night at Hertz Arena. A crowd of 7,645 fans – the largest crowd of the season – witnessed the victory as part of the 11th sold-out crowd at Hertz Arena in the Everblades’ final tune-up before starting the defense of their 2022 Kelly Cup championship next Saturday.
The Everblades took charge from the opening faceoff as Nolan Kneen scored his fifth goal of the season at 4:33 and Pendenza added his team-high 23rd and 24th markers of the season at 9:27 and 14:49 to stake the good guys to a commanding 3-0 lead that they would not relinquish. John McCarron picked up an assist on the opening goal, while the duo of Logan Lambdin and Lukas Kälble each earned helpers on the two Pendenza tallies.
Atlanta spoiled Fitzpatrick’s bid for his first shutout of the year, as Cody Sylvester slipped the puck past Fitzpatrick into at 19:05, trimming the Everblades’ lead to 3-1.
Ashton Calder scored his first professional goal, an empty-net tally at 18:40 of the third period thanks to an assist by Taylor Irvine to seal the 4-1 victory.
Making his first start for Everblades since March 11 after spending considerable time with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, Fitzpatrick made 28 saves and improved to 11-3-0-1 on the season, including a 5-0-0-1 record in his last six starts. Atlanta’s Tyler Harmon fell to 4-5-1-0 for Atlanta, despite recording 34 saves.
The Blades’ playoff run will begin in the Palmetto State against the South Carolina Stingrays. The opening two games of the South Division Semifinals will be in North Charleston, S.C. on Saturday, April 22 at 6:05 p.m. and Monday, April 24 at 7:05 p.m., before the series shifts back to Hertz Arena for Games Three and Four on Wednesday, April 26 and Friday, April 28, respectively, at 7:30 p.m. and also Game Five, if necessary, on Saturday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m.
Single game tickets for the first two home games of the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs, presented by Lexus, are on sale at the Fifth Third Bank Box Office at Hertz Arena, online HERE or by calling the Everblades office at 239-948-PUCK.
Promotions at Hertz Arena for the opening round of the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs, presented by Lexus, include the ever-popular Hump Day Deals for Game Three with $3.00 Bud Light Drafts and $3.00 hot dogs, and our 239 Friday Deals for Game Four which include two tickets, two programs and a large bucket of popcorn.
JOIN THE FUN
2023 Kelly Cup Playoff Ticket packages and single-game tickets are now on sale. Join the Blades in their pursuit to defend the title! To learn more, call or text (239) 948-7825.
The 2023-24 season ticket plans are on sale now! Become a Blades 365 Member for the 2023-24 season and enjoy incredible savings and benefits! 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!
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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.