BOISE, Idaho – Logan Lambdin scored goals in the first and last minute of the second period as the Florida Everblades defeated the Idaho Steelheads 5-3 Sunday at Idaho Central Arena in Game Two of the Kelly Cup Finals. With the victory, the Everblades hold a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-seven series which shifts to Hertz Arena on Wednesday for as many as three games.
Lambdin was a factor in Florida’s first three goals for his first two-goal game and his first three-point game as an Everblade.
A physical first period saw the Everblades outshoot the Steelheads 17-11 and take a 1-1 deadlock into the first intermission. For the second consecutive game, Idaho struck first as veteran Matt Register buried a slap shot from the blue line to stake the home team to a 1-0 lead at 11:49.
Ashton Calder evened the score for Florida with nine seconds remaining on the Blades’ first power-play opportunity of the contest at the 19:40 mark. Calder picked up his third goal of the playoffs on a one-timer from the slot following a picture-perfect feed from Sean Josling, with Lambdin also adding a helper.
After the first intermission, Lambdin took over. As play resumed in the second period, Lambdin wasted little time picking up his first goal of the series, giving the Everblades a 2-1 lead. Just 50 seconds into the middle frame, Lambdin buried the puck from the top of the left circle immediately off a faceoff win by Joe Pendenza. With his seventh goal of the playoffs, Lambdin allowed the Blades to play with a lead for the first time in the series, as their only lead in Game One occurred after Oliver Chau’s overtime game-winning goal.
Lambdin wasn’t done, as he slipped behind the Idaho defense and scored his second goal of the period and eighth of the playoffs with just 5.8 seconds on the clock to give Florida a 3-1 cushion heading into the third period.
Levko Koper extended the Everblades’ lead to 4-1 with his third goal of the playoffs at 13:42 of the third period. Josling picked up his second assist of the game, while Will Calverley added his first helper of the series. Koper’s goal would prove to be significant,
Idaho, the ECHL’s top regular-season team would not go easily, as Justin Misiak scored on the power-play and Ty Pelton-Byce added a tally 21 seconds apart to trim the Blades’ lead to 4-3 with 4:03 to play.
A shorthanded empty-net goal by Ben Masella with 29.6 seconds to play closed out the scoring with Florida on top 5-3.
On the night, the Everblades outshot the Steelheads 36-27. In goal, Cam Johnson made 24 saves and improved to 14-4-2 for the Everblades, while Idaho netminder Adam Scheel made 31 saves and fell to 12-6-0 this postseason. With Florida holding a 2-0 series lead, the teams will head cross country as action shifts 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.
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