JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite a busy 39-save effort from goaltender Cam Johnson and a second-period goal by Logan Lambdin, the Florida Everblades came away on the short end of a 3-1 decision, falling to the Jacksonville Icemen Saturday night at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
After scoring in each of the three regulation periods during Thursday’s season opener in Orlando, the Everblades were unable to strike in the opening 20 minutes of Saturday’s contest. Jacksonville’s Christopher Brown connected 13 seconds into the first power-play opportunity of the game for either team, striking at 8:50 of the first period. Florida took the first six shots on goal in the game, but both teams logged 12 shots over the first period. The Icemen held a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.
The South Division rivals traded second-period goals as Jacksonville held a 2-1 advantage going into the final period. Brendan Harris doubled the Icemen’s lead to 2-0 at the 1:08 mark, while Lambdin banged home a Cole Moberg slapshot at the 11:57 mark, with Cam Hausinger earning his first assist in a Blades sweater. In goal for the Everblades, Johnson registered 18 saves in a middle period in which Jacksonville tripled up Florida in the shot department, 19-6.
For the second straight night, the Everblades found themselves trailing by a goal entering the third period after trailing by a pair in the second frame. Unfortunately, Harris’ second goal of the night gave Jacksonville a 3-1 lead at 10:42 of the middle period to close out the scoring. Brown, who scored Jacksonville’s first goal of the night, assisted on both of Harris’ goals for a three-point night.
Jacksonville outshot the Everblades 11-4 in the third period and 42-22 for the game. Jacksonville’s Matt Vernon made 21 saves for the victorious Icemen.
The Blades will wrap up the season-opening three-game road trip on Thursday, October 26 with the team’s second matchup of the year against the Orlando Solar Bears at 7:00 p.m. at Amway Center. Florida claimed a 4-3 shootout victory in the season opener for both clubs last Thursday.
The defending back-to-back Kelly Cup champions will make their Hertz Arena season debut on Saturday, October 28 as Jacksonville skates into town for a 7:00 p.m. contest that will get underway after the Everblades hoist the 2022-23 Kelly Cup championship banner in special pregame ceremonies. In addition to the banner raising, Sweets in the Suites will be presented by Waste Pro Management, an LED Cup Giveaway will be presented by Michelob Ultra, and there will be a special pregame Tailgate Party with live music and bounce houses. Visit floridaeverblades.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
After two games, Logan Lambdin is the only Everblade to have multiple points, registering an assist in Thursday’s opener and scoring a goal on Saturday. For the balanced Florida attack, five different Blades have scored goals, while nine different skaters have picked up at least one point.
Cam Johnson rode an 18-save second period into his second straight 30-plus save performance of the young season. The two-time Kelly Cup Most Valuable Player tallied 39 saves on Saturday, just 48 hours removed from a 36-save showing in Thursday’s season opener. Last season, in 55 regular-season starts, Johnson posted 30 or more saves 18 times, while topping the 40-save barrier twice and the 50-save mark once.
With Saturday’s setback, the Everblades were unable to get out to a 2-0 start for the first time since the 2020-21 season when the Blades went on to win five straight games to open the 20-21 season. The Everblades last opened a season with two straight road wins back in 2019-20, when the good guys topped host Norfolk 4-3 and 5-2.
The Jandric brothers of Prince George, British Columbia tallied points in each of the first two games for the Everblades’ opponents. Orlando’s Steve Jandric potted a first-period goal in Thursday’s opener, while younger brother Chris notched a first-period assist for Jacksonville on Saturday.
Saturday Night’s Scoresheet
JOIN THE FUN
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 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, or online at espnswfl.com or everblades.mixlr.com. Stay up to date by following the Blades on social media with all the latest news, scores, and promotions on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and Twitter.