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CALVERLEY AND JOHNSON LEAD BLADES TO 3-0 FINALS LEAD

Thursday, June 8th
CALVERLEY AND JOHNSON LEAD BLADES TO 3-0 FINALS LEAD

ESTERO, Fla. – One. Win. Away.

Will Calverley scored the only goal of the game late in the second period and Cam Johnson registered his eighth career ECHL postseason shutout to lift the Florida Everblades to a 1-0 victory over the Idaho Steelheads before a sellout crowd of 6,983 Wednesday night at Hertz Arena in Game Three of the Kelly Cup Finals. With the victory, the Everblades hold a 3-0 series lead in the best-of-seven series.

With the Game Three victory, the Everblades can clinch back-to-back Kelly Cup Championships – and the organization’s third Kelly Cup overall – on home ice Friday night.

The Everblades came out firing after the opening faceoff, outshooting the Steelheads by a 16-9 margin and also having two power-play opportunities to Idaho’s none in the first period. Despite several solid scoring chances, Florida was unable to get the puck past Idaho netminder Rémi Poirier, who stopped everything the Blades put on net in the first 20 minutes of his postseason debut. The scoreless frame was the first of eight periods in the series that neither team was able to get on the board.

Scoreless hockey continued deep into the second period until Calverley connected from the left circle off a beautiful feed from Blake Winiecki at 18:14 of the frame to put the Everblades on top 1-0. Calverley’s goal and Winiecki’s helper, were their first goal and assist of the Finals, respectively. Once again, Florida won the shot battle in the middle frame 8-5.

The 1-0 lead would hold up through the third period, as Johnson made nine of his 23 saves on the evening to post his fourth shutout of the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the second straight year.Florida outshot Idaho 28-23, as Johnson improved to 15-4-2 this postseason.

With Florida holding a 3-0 series lead, the series continues at Hertz Arena with Game Four on Friday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Game Five, if necessary, would also be in Estero on Saturday, June 10 at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

Make plans now to join us for home Kelly Cup Playoff games at Hertz Arena. The first 5,000 fans will receive a free rally towel Friday, compliments of Lexus Dealers of Southwest Florida, and all kids will eat free Friday night at Breakaway Sports Pub. Should Game Five be necessary on Saturday, the first 3,000 fans will receive a t-shirt courtesy of Frantz Eye Care and Fifth Third Bank, Single game tickets 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.

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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.  

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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and the AHL's Charlotte Checkers.

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