ESTERO, Fla. – It took a little bit of extra time, but it was worth the wait.
Logan Lambdin scored 5:23 into overtime to lift the Florida Everblades to a thrilling 4-3 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays in Game Three of the South Division Semifinals Wednesday night at Hertz Arena. With the win, the Everblades took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Just as he did in Game One, Sean Josling opened the scoring with a first-period power play goal. Josling’s third tally of the series gave the Everblades a 1-0 lead at the 11:56 mark. Joe Pendenza picked up his fourth helper of the postseason, while Ben Masella grabbed his first point of the series. Unfortunately, Chaz Reddekopp answered for the Stingrays just over two minutes later, knotting the score at 1-1 at 14:19 of the first stanza.
In the second period, the contest tilted in the Everblades’ direction as two goals 40 seconds apart gave Florida a 3-1 lead. Pendenza knocked home a puck in traffic at 7:59 for his first of the playoffs, while Levko Koper slipped behind the defense and potted an unassisted goal at 8:30 to put the Blades up by two. The Stingrays’ Jarid Lukosevicius stopped the bleeding for the visitors and trimmed the Everblades’ lead to 3-2 at the 11:13 mark.
With Florida less than one minute away from claiming a victory in regulation and South Carolina having pulled their goaltender Clay Stevenson for a sixth attacker, Lukosevicius scored his second goal of the game at 19:40 to tie the game at 3-3 and send the contest to overtime.
While the Everblades went 1-for-2 on the power play, the Florida defense stymied South Carolina, as the Stingrays came up empty on all four of their power-play opportunities. It marked the second time in the series that the Blades have shut down the ECHL’s top regular-season power-play unit in the series.
In goal, Cam Johnson registered 32 saves and improved to 2-1 in this year’s playoffs for the Everblades, while South Carolina’s Stevenson matched Johnson, stopping 32 shots and saw his record fall to 1-0-1.
The series continues with two more contests at Hertz Arena with Game Four Friday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Game Five on Saturday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m.
Single game tickets for both remaining home games in the South Division Semifinals of the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs, presented by Lexus Dealers of Southwest Florida, 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.
Your favorite promotions at Hertz Arena are back for the opening round of the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs, presented by Lexus Dealers of Southwest Florida! Our awesome deals include our 239 Friday Deals for Game Four which include two tickets, two programs and a large bucket of popcorn. Saturday’s Game Five will also be preceded by a great pregame tailgate featuring live music by Thomas Carter from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
JOIN THE FUN
2023 Kelly Cup Playoff 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!
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.