GREENVILLE, S.C. – Stefan Leblanc scored the game-winning goal with just over one minute remaining in overtime to lift the Florida Everblades to a crucial 2-1 overtime win over the first-place Greenville Swamp Rabbits Friday night in Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Cam Johnson registered 33 saves to earn the victory after losing a bid for his third shutout of the season with just over 35 seconds to play in regulation.
Following a scoreless first period, Logan Lambdin drew blood for the Everblades just 2:01 into the second period, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. Florida carried the puck from deep in the defensive end and Andrew Fyten fed Lamdbin for his fourth goal of the season.
Neither team would score until the final minute of regulation, when Greenville’s Max Martin knotted the game at 1-1 with just over 35 seconds left to play, spoiling Johnson’s bid for the shutout.
In the seven-minute, three-on-three overtime session, the Swamp Rabbits posted a 5-3 edge in shots on goal, but neither team could break the 1-1 deadlock until Leblanc netted the game-winner at the 5:49 mark off a feed from Will Calverley in his Everblades debut.
Greenville nipped Florida in the shooting department 34-31, snapping a string of six consecutive games in which the Everblades posted more shots on goal than the opposition.
In between the pipes, Johnson earned the win and improved to 24-16-4-3 while his counterpart David Hrenak dropped to 20-11-4-1 with 29 saves for Greenville.
The South Division playoff race and seeding remains tight. With eight regular-season games remaining, the Everblades (35-21-4-4) find themselves with 78 points in fourth place in a tight South Division race, but sit just three points out of first place. The top four teams in the division are separated by just three points.
The Everblades have reached the midpoint of the four-game road trip and will head back to Duluth, Georgia, where they played Wednesday night, for the first of back-to-back tilts against the Atlanta Gladiators Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The clubs will also meet for their third game in five days Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
JOIN THE FUN
2023 Kelly Cup Playoff Ticket Packages 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.