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EVERBLADES FALL IN GAME FIVE; LOOK TO WRAP UP SERIES MONDAY IN JACKSONVILLE

Sunday, May 14th
EVERBLADES FALL IN GAME FIVE; LOOK TO WRAP UP SERIES MONDAY IN JACKSONVILLE

ESTERO, Fla. –  With an opportunity to wrap up the series on home ice for the second straight night, the Florida Everblades came up on the short end of a 6-3 decision to the Jacksonville Icemen in Game Five of the South Division Finals Saturday night at Hertz Arena. The series will shift to Jacksonville for Game Six on Monday evening, as the Everblades will have two chances to close out the series in North Florida.

It was the second straight game in which the Everblades were unable to play with a lead.

A busy and penalty-free first period saw Jacksonville take a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. Chris Martin struck first for the Icemen just 11 seconds into the contest, but the Everblades evened the score midway through the period. John McCarron one-timed a pass from Levko Koper from the right circle to knot the game at 1-1 with his third goal of the playoffs at the 9:12 mark. Oliver Chau also added an assist. Unfortunately for the home team, Jacksonville regained the lead with a Derek Lodermeier goal at 10:08 for a 2-1 advantage that the Icemen took into the second period.

It took less than four minutes into the middle period for the Everblades to even the score at 2-2. With the first power-play opportunity enjoyed by either team getting ready to expire, Chau rifled home a shot from the slot off a feed from Ben Masella for his third of the playoffs to bring the to life. In the final minute of the second period, however, Jacksonville’s Brendan Harris regained the visitors’ 3-2 lead on the Icemen’s first power-play chance of the night.

Just over one minute into the third period, the Jacksonville lead grew to 4-2 on Lodermeier’s second goal of the contest. Christopher Brown made it 5-2 with a goal at the 8:50 mark.

The Everblades pulled within two, as Chau scored his second power-play goal of the night at 12:19, trimming the Icemen’s lead to 5-3 with fourth of the playoffs. McCarron picked up the helper for his second point of the night. Brown added an empty-net goal for the Icemen with 64 seconds left to close out the scoring.

Thanks to Chau, who had two power-play goals and three points in the game, Florida was 2-for-4 on the power play, while Jacksonville was 1-for-2.

Cam Johnson made 16 saves and saw his playoff record drop to 7-3-1, while Parker Gahagen made 32 saves and improved to 2-1, making him the third goalie to record two playoff wins this season for the Icemen. The Everblades outshot the Icemen 35-22.

The series shifts back to Jacksonville with the Everblades having two chances to win one game in order to move onto the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals against the Newfoundland Growlers. Game Six is slated for Monday night at 7:00 p.m., while a potential Game Seven would take place Tuesday evening at the same time.

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