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WEDMAN PULLS BLADES EVEN WITH OT GWG

Sunday, April 21st
WEDMAN PULLS BLADES EVEN WITH OT GWG

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Matthew Wedman buried a blast from the left circle at 8:24 of overtime to lift the Florida Everblades to a 2-1, come-from-behind victory over the host Jacksonville Icemen in Game Two of the South Division Semifinal series Sunday afternoon at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. With the victory, the Everblades pulled even in the series, with the next three games taking place on Hertz Arena ice.

 

The ECHL’s top-two stingiest defenses during the regular season were true to form in the first period, as the bitter rivals battled through a scoreless opening 20 minutes. Jacksonville claimed a slight 9-8 edge in shots on goal after taking the first eight shots of the game across the first 6:33 of play. The Blades claimed an 8-1 shooting edge over the remainder of the period. Both teams came up empty on two power-play shifts in the first period, with Jacksonville’s second power play running through the opening 1:37 of the middle frame.

 

Both teams would find their offense in the second period, trading the only goals scored in 60 minutes of regulation play. The Icemen struck first and claimed a 1-0 lead at the 12:59 mark, as Derek Lodermeier scored for the second time in the series, collecting Jacksonville’s fourth power-play goal of the postseason. Sean Josling responded for the Everblades just under two minutes later, notching Florida’s first goal of the playoffs and tying the game at 1-1. 

Josling capitalized with the Everblades on a 3-on-2 rush, streaking down the right side and burying a feed from the slot off the stick of Josh Ho-Sang. The equalizer not only leveled the score at the 14:56 mark, but snapped the Everblades’ postseason scoreless streak at just under 95 minutes. 

 

Neither team was able to find the net in the third period, as the game went into overtime. Jacksonville outshot Florida 26-22 in regulation.

 

Wedman’s first goal as an Everblade came at the most opportune of times. A cross-ice feed from Ho-Sang was deflected by a Jacksonville defender, went right to Wedman who nailed the game-winner. 

Ho-Sang assisted on both Florida goals, while Will Reilly also picked up as assist.

 

Florida outshot Jacksonville 6-1 in the extra period to claim a 28-27 edge in shots on goal for the contest. In goal, Cam Johnson stopped 26 of 27 shots for the Everblades to claim the victory, while Matt Vernon also made 26 saves for the Icemen and suffered the overtime loss.

 

With the first two games in the rear-view mirror, the series shifts to Hertz Arena in Estero, as the Everblades will host Game Three, the first of three potential home games in the series, on Wednesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. Fans are encouraged to wear white for all opening-round games at Hertz Arena as a nod to the Blades’ first of three Kelly Cup titles in 2012, and can take advantage of a special postseason Hump Day Deal on Wednesday with $3.00 beers and hot dogs available throughout the game. 

Friday’s contest in The Swamp features a 239 Friday, with fans able to purchase two tickets, one popcorn and a souvenir program for the special price of $39. Visit floridaeverblades.com for more information on the Kelly Cup Playoffs presented by Lexus and to purchase tickets. 

 

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BLADES BITS

 

Matthew Wedman’s game-winning overtime goal was his first marker as an Everblade and his first playoff goal as a pro in his fourth season of ECHL/AHL competition. Wedman has 34 regular-season goals as a pro, but had not scored in three career postseason games. 

 

No strangers to overtime, the Everblades played seven overtime games in both the 2022 and 2023 Kelly Cup championship runs. The Blades posted a 5-2 mark in overtime games in the 2023 postseason, one year removed from going 6-1 in extra time during the playoffs throughout the team’s 2022 Kelly Cup championship quest.

For the third straight year, the Everblades split a pair of games to open the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Last season, the Blades split two games at South Carolina in the South Division semifinals, taking the opener 5-0 and dropping the second game 4-0. In 2022, Florida opened the South Division semifinals against Greenville with a 4-3 overtime win in Game One, before dropping Game Two 5-3. The Blades would eventually win each of those series in six games.

 

Sean Josling’s second-period goal was the Everblades’ first marker of the 2024 postseason. A year ago, Josling registered a team-best 20 points, while tying for the team lead with 10 goals during the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Josling’s 20 points in the postseason also tied for the league lead.

 

Josling’s goal was the first even-strength tally registered by either team in the series. Jacksonville scored three power-play goals and a shorthanded, empty-net tally in Game One, while adding a fourth power-play goal to open Game Two. 

 

Both defenses lived up to their regular-season billing as the ECHL’s stingiest defenses in the regular season.The Everblades entered the 2024 postseason with a league-best 2.58 goals allowed per game, while the Icemen ranked second at 2.71.

 

Sunday Afternoon’s Scoresheet 

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JOIN THE FUN 


Tickets for home games in the 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs presented by Lexus are available now, as are 2024 Kelly Cup Playoff Packages, which include games in all four rounds. To learn more, please click HERE.

Season ticket plans for the 2024-25 campaign are on sale now! Become a Blades 365 Member for the 2024-25 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 FacebookInstagramLinkedInTikTok and Twitter

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