ESTERO, Fla. – Three quick second-period goals, a two-point night by Zach Tsekos and a 32-save shutout by goaltender Evan Cormier proved to be a winning combination, as the Florida Everblades skated to a 4-0 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears in the opening game of a three-game set Wednesday night at Hertz Arena.
Cormier continued the blazing start to his Everblades career just six days removed from posting 43 saves in the last meeting of the South Division rivals. Cormier registered 15 saves in the scoreless opening period, keeping Florida in the contest despite the Blades being outshot 15-4 over the first 20 minutes.
After a scoreless frame to get the night started, the second period proved to be a completely different story, as the Everblades jumped out to a 3-0 lead in just over four minutes of action. Tsekos started the onslaught just 15 seconds into the period, with Bobo Carpenter (3:10) and Sean Josling (4:13) following in short order.
Tsekos’ goal was his first as an Everblade, while Carpenter’s tally was his team-leading third of the season. Josling’s marker was his second of the campaign and capped off a middle frame that saw Florida turn the tables and outshoot Orlando 12-7.
In this third period, Cormier thwarted a penalty shot by Orlando’s Steve Jandric with 3:55 left on the clock to help preserve the shutout. Just 45 seconds later, Nathan Staios tacked on a power-play insurance goal, his first of the season to close out the scoring with Florida in front 4-0.
Cormier improved to 2-0-0-0 with the sixth shutout of his professional career. Both of Cormier’s victories this season have come over the Solar Bears, while his Orlando counterpart Brandon Halverson made 18 saves and fell to 1-2-0-0.
The homestand continues with two more matchups against the Solar Bears Friday night, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday evening, Nov. 4 at 7:00 p.m. Next up is our first 239 Friday of the new season and fans can purchase two tickets, two military-themed beers and one program for the low price of $39. There will also be a magnetic schedule giveaway presented by Plumbing Nerds. For Saturday’s homestand finale, the Blades will host the annual Military Night to honor our nation’s armed forces. The team will sport special jerseys with a military theme and those jerseys will be auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting the National Coalition of Patriots. Visit floridaeverblades.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
Evan Cormier has continued to be a thorn in the Solar Bears’ paws. After turning in a 43-save effort and claiming a 2-1 win in his Everblades debut last Thursday in Orlando, Cormier continued to be a brick wall, logging 15 saves in the opening period en route to the 4-0, 32-save victory for his sixth professional shutout.
The Blades’ three-goal second period was the team’s most productive period of the young season. Florida, which had posted three goals in just two of the team’s first four games, had authored just one multi-goal period this season, scoring two goals in the third period of Saturday’s home opener versus Jacksonville.
Zach Tsekos registered his first two-point game of the year, collecting an assist on Bobo Carpenter’s second-period goal less than three minutes after potting his first tally in an Everblades sweater. For Carpenter, his goal was his second in as many games, and the team’s leading goal scorer has scored a goal in three of the team’s first five games.
Among the six different Everblades who posted assists in Wednesday’s victory, Logan Lambdin ran his point streak to five games (2 G, 3 A), Riese Zmolek collected a helper for the second straight game, while Will Reilly added an assist to etch his name onto the scoresheet for the first time this season.
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