O'Donnell's Overtime Goal Lifts 'Blades to Game 3 Win
ORLANDO, FL - Brendan O'Donnell scored the second of his two goals at 12:52 of overtime to seal a 5-4 victory for the Everblades over the Orlando Solar Bears in Game 3 of the South Division Semifinals Thursday night at the Amway Center. Orlando now leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.
For the first time in the series, the Everblades grabbed the game's first tally. Matt Berry hustled into the zone to pick up a loose puck from behind the net. Berry circled to the front and steered a pass to the top of the crease to Brendan O'Donnell who slid the puck around Orlando netminder Ryan Massa for the tally.
Just under two minutes later, Florida extended its lead to 2-0 when Mitchell Heard hurled a shot from just below the blue line that beat a screened Massa cleanly.
However, the Solar Bears quickly quelled the Everblades momentum, netting their first goal of the game at 7:39 of the opening frame. Manderson delivered a shot from the right side of the crease that hit off the body of Anthony Peters and clipped into the net for the tally.
It took just 39 seconds into the second period for Orlando to even up the game. Mason Marchment took off on a breakaway chance and wristed a shot into the Florida net to put the game at 2-2.
The Everblades reclaimed the lead just four minutes later while killing off a penalty. Mike Aviani led a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush into the Orlando zone. Aviani delivered a perfectly placed saucer pass across the ice to Michael Ferrantino who angled a shot past a diving Massa for the go-ahead marker. Florida took the 3-2 lead into the second intermission.
The Solar Bears grabbed their first lead of the game scoring two goals in a 28-second span early in the third. The First of those goals came at 2:27 of the period when Manderson carried the puck to the front of the net and carved a backhander past Peters to even up the score at three.
Just seconds later, Eric Faille got behind the defense and floated a soft shot behind a sliding Peters to give Orlando the 4-3 lead.
The Everblades tied it back up on the power play at 7:01 of the third. Matt Berry centered a feed in front that was blocked by Orlando forward Joe Perry. The puck bounced right to Ferrantino who stuffed the puck into the net for his second goal of the night.
Despite several quality chances on both sides, neither team could find the go-ahead goal to send the game to overtime.
Florida's special teams came up big throughout the game, including in the extra session. The 'Blades killed off a Solar Bears power play early into overtime to keep the game tied at 4-4.
Moments later, Florida received a power play opportunity of its own and made it count. Brendan O'Donnell tipped and redirected a shot from the point into the net past Massa to secure the 5-4 win. The goal was the second of the game for O'Donnell, and the second power play goal of the night for the Everblades.
Anthony Peters earns the win making 32 saves, while Massa takes the loss allowing five goals on 41 shots. The Everblades were also a perfect 8-for-8 on the penalty kill.
The two teams will now meet in Game 4 on Saturday at the Amway Center beginning at 7:00 p.m. The win by Florida also forces a Game 5 on Sunday which is slated for a 4:00 p.m. start time.
Fans can catch both games on WJBX (101.5 FM, 104.3 FM, 770-AM), or online. Fans may also watch the game online on ECHL.TV
South Division Semifinal Playoff Schedule
(Orlando leads 2-1)
Game 1: Wednesday, April 12, Orlando - 4 at Florida - 2
Game 2: Friday, April 14, Orlando - 3 at Florida - 2
Game 3: Thursday, April 20, Florida - 5 at Orlando - 4 (OT)
Game 4: Saturday, April 22 at Orlando, 7:00 p.m. (Amway Center)
Game 5: Sunday, April 23 at Orlando, 4:00 p.m. (Amway Center)
Game 6: Tuesday, April 25 vs. Orlando, 7:30 p.m. (Germain Arena)**
Game 7: Wednesday, April 26 vs. Orlando, 7:30 p.m. (Germain Arena)**
Game Tickets: Everblades tickets may be purchased at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online at
Playoff Tickets Now on Sale: Playoff game tickets may be purchased at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or online by CLICKING HERE
Discounted Group Tickets:Bring your group of 10 or more to a game at a discounted price, and you may also receive an Everblades souvenir! Group tickets are available for all home games. For more information on group tickets, call 239-948-7825.
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O'Donnell's Overtime Goal Lifts 'Blades to Game 3 Win
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