ESTERO, Fla. – The Florida Everblades got on the board early and often, posting a 4-1 victory over Atlanta Gladiators Wednesday night at Hertz Arena. With a complete win on both ends of the ice, the Everblades extended the team’s season-long winning streak to five games.
The Everblades broke through midway through the first period to claim an early 1-0 lead. Returning to the Blades’ lineup from Charlotte (AHL), Cam Morrison banged home a rebound of a Sean Josling blast for his fourth goal of the season, 9:35 after the opening faceoff.
Later in the frame, a pair of newcomers, Tyler Kobryn and Evan Boucher, teamed up in their Blades’ debuts to extend the lead to 2-0. A slashing Kobryn scored from just outside the crease at the 17:47 mark, with Boucher and Will Reilly picking up the helpers. With their assists in the opening frame, both Josling and Reilly ran their assist streaks to five consecutive contests.
The offensive onslaught continued in the second period, as Josling and Morrison teamed up again. Josling netted his 12th marker of the campaign off a feed from Morrison that stretched the good guys’ lead to 3-0 at the 7:54 juncture.
Atlanta’s Cody Sylvester got the Gladiators on the board just 16 seconds later to trim Florida’s lead to 3-1. The goal came on the Glads’ only shot on goal in the frame.
Morrison added an empty-net goal, his second marker of the contest, at 17:32 of the third period to close out the scoring with the Everblades on top, 4-1. Zach Uens earned an assist.
The Everblades dominated the shot tally 38-25 – including a lopsided 11-1 advantage in the second period – and made a winner out of Evan Cormier (8-4-2-0), who registered 24 saves. Brad Barone (3-4-2-0) logged 34 saves and suffered the loss for Atlanta.
The homestand continues as the Everblades welcome the first-place Greenville Swamp Rabbits back to Hertz Arena for a 7:30 p.m. contest on Friday, January 26, and a 7:00 p.m. tilt on Saturday, January 27. Another 239 Friday will see fans able to purchase two tickets, a large popcorn, and a souvenir program for just $39. Saturday will be a big night at Hertz Arena, as the evening starts with a pre-game tailgate party with live music, while the game will see the team decked out in specialty Affiliation Night jerseys that will be available for purchase through an online auction, with proceeds benefitting Animal Refuge Center.
Visit floridaeverblades.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
The Everblades find themselves on a five-game winning streak, the team’s longest of the season. Previously, the Blades had authored a four-game winning streak from November 12-18, as they topped Greenville, Orlando and Atlanta twice. That string was part of a seven-game stretch in which Florida tallied at least one point (5-0-2-0).
The Everblades have won all five matchups against the Gladiators this season. Florida previously posted 6-2 and 3-1 victories back on November 17-18 at Hertz Arena, while picking up 5-3 and 3-2 wins on January 3 and 4 in Duluth, Ga. In five games, the Blades have outscored Atlanta by a 21-9 margin.
With two goals, Cam Morrison struck gold in his first game back with the Everblades since December 8. In his last game with the Blades, Morrison registered a pair of goals in a 4-0 whitewash of South Carolina. Morrison was loaned to Florida from Charlotte of the AHL on Tuesday. In 22 total games with the Checkers this season, Morrison has logged four points on one goal and three assists.
Both Sean Josling and Will Reilly ran their respective point streaks to five games with first-period assists. Those helpers gave each player seven points in their last five games.
A couple of newcomers had memorable debuts for the Blades, teaming up for the squad’s late first-period goal. Tyler Kobryn notched his first goal with the Everblades, while Evan Boucher registered one of the two assists for his first professional point.
After claiming a 16-15 edge in shots on goal in a wild and wooly first period, the Blades outshot the Gladiators 11-1 in the second frame, just the sixth time this season that an ECHL team held their opponents to a single shot in a period.
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