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CHAU’S OT GAME-WINNER REELS IN STEELHEADS AS BLADES WIN GAME ONE

Sunday, June 4th
CHAU’S OT GAME-WINNER REELS IN STEELHEADS AS BLADES WIN GAME ONE

BOISE, Idaho –  Oliver Chau scored the game-winning goal at 14:06 into overtime to lift the Florida Everblades to a 3-2 victory over the Idaho Steelheads in Game One of the Kelly Cup Finals Saturday Night at Idaho Central Arena. 

John McCarron picked up a loose puck in the slot, passed it back to Chau who rifled home his seventh goal of the playoffs to give the Everblades a 1-0 series victory, the team’s eighth straight Game One victory dating back to last season. 

The Everblades appeared to score the first goal of the series on a Logan Lambdin tip-in four minutes after the opening faceoff, but the goal was disallowed due to a high stick call. Idaho was able to claim a 1-0 lead at the 15:38 mark as Dawson Barteaux converted while Florida was 30 seconds away from withstanding a Steelheads’ 5-on-3 advantage. Both goaltenders made high-quality stops throughout a very physical first period between the respective conference champions, with the Blades’ Cam Johnson recording 13 saves and Idaho’s Adam Scheel turning aside eight Florida shots. 

Cole Moberg’s second goal of the playoffs drew the Everblades even, as he blasted the puck past Scheel from the right point at 7:06 of the middle period following a successful faceoff by Cam Darcy and a quick feed from Zach Uens to knot the score at 1-1, the third straight game in which the Blades were tied after 40 minutes. After being outshot 14-8 in the opening frame, the Everblades turned the tables in the second period, outshooting the Steelheads 14-7 to take a 22-21 edge in the contest.  

The 1-1 deadlock would hold for nearly seven minutes into the third period, but Idaho’s Ryan Dmowski gave the Steelheads a 2-1 lead at 6:54, wristing home a feed from behind the Florida net.   Florida was not done, as Blake Winiecki picked up a power-play goal at the 12:39 mark for his ninth lamp lighter of the playoffs, as McCarron and Chau earned the assists to knot the game at 2-2. It was the third consecutive game that the Everblades scored on the man advantage and was enough to send Florida to a seventh overtime game this postseason. 

Chau’s overtime game winner in overtime saw the Everblades improve to 5-2 when fans were treated to extra hockey,  

Florida claimed a 37-36 advantage in shots on goal, the eighth straight game that the Everblades have outshot their opponent.   Johnson extended his winning streak to three games, making 34 saves to improve to 13-4-2, while Scheel saw a two-game winning streak come to an end despite making 34 saves as well and falling to 12-5-0.  The teams will return to the ice quickly as Game Two of the best-of-seven series is slated for Sunday afternoon at Idaho Central Arena, with the puck dropping at 6:10 p.m. EDT. Florida will look to continue their Game Two success, as the Everblades have posted victories in Game Two of their past two playoff series this year, while also winning Game Two in their last three Kelly Cup Finals series (2012, 2018, 2022). 

Action will shift to Hertz Arena for Game Three on Wednesday, June 7 and Game Four on Friday, June 9, with both games getting underway 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 the final home games at Hertz Arena this postseason. The first 5,000 fans will receive a free rally towel Friday and Saturday, compliments of Lexus Dealers of Southwest Florida, and all kids will eat free Friday night at Breakaway Sports Pub. 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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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.  

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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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