JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Everblades overcame a two-goal deficit with a pair of third-period goals that tied the game, but the Jacksonville Icemen added a third-period goal of their own to defeat the Everblades 4-3 Wednesday night at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
The first period saw the visiting Everblades dominate the action, outshooting Jacksonville by an 18-11 margin, but the Icemen scored the only goal, as Luc Brown converted in the closing seconds of a power play to stake Jacksonville to a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
A busy second frame saw the teams alternate goals as Jacksonville doubled their lead to two goals and took a 3-1 lead into the final period. Riley Fiddler-Schultz put the Icemen ahead 2-0 with a shorthanded tally at the 8:28 mark before Jordan Sambrook got the Everblades on the board off assists by Joe Pendenza and Oliver Chau at 16:15, Jacksonville pulled ahead 3-1 on a power-play goal by Matheson Iacopelli at 18:26 that regained the home team’s two-goal advantage.
After combining for three goals in the middle frame, the South Division rivals put up another three-goal period in the final period. The Everblades would knot the game 3-3 with two goals 16 seconds apart by Pendenza and Andrew Fyten just over eight minutes into the third frame. Chau picked up his second and third assists, with a helper on both goals, while Patrick Holway assisted on Pendenza’s power-play marker, while Cole Moberg helped out on the Fyten goal.
Unfortunately, Jacksonville responded with its third power-play goal, as Iacopelli gave the Icemen a 4-3 edge with his second of the game at 10:51 of the final stanza.
While the Everblades outshot the Icemen 38-34, Cam Johnson (8-5-3-0) made 30 saves and suffered the hard-luck loss for Florida. Jacksonville’s Matt Vernon (7-3-0-0) registered 35 saves and earned the victory.
The Everblades’ road trip continues with single games in Savannah on Friday, December 22 and South Carolina on Saturday, December 23 before the Blades return to Hertz Arena for a big series versus the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Thursday, December 28 and Friday, December 29. Visit floridaeverblades.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
Jordan Sambrook’s return to the Everblades was successful on the personal front, as he potted his first goal since re-signing with the Blades on December 5. The Markham, Ontario native appeared in 74 regular-season games with the Everblades over the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, registering 22 points on two goals and 20 assists from his blue line position. He added three points on two goals and a helper in 20 Kelly Cup playoff games in the 2022 postseason for the good guys.
Joe Pendenza got in on the goal-scoring party with his first marker since November 15. In the 11 games in between goals, Pendenza had an assist in more than half of those contests, dishing out six helpers.
Andrew Fyten notched a goal for the second straight game.
On Jordan Sambrook’s second-period goal, Joe Pendenza tallied an assist for the second time in three games, giving him a team-best nine assists, while Oliver Chau snapped a four-game streak without registering a point.
Oliver Chau registered three assists for his second multi-point game and first multi-assist game of the year. The three-assist performance was Chau’s third with the Everblades as he posted three-assist games on two separate occasions last season.
Florida surrendered multiple power-play goals for the second straight game after going three consecutive games without allowing the opposition to strike on the man advantage. The Everblades allowed three power-play goals for the first time this season.
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