Blades Gear up for Jacksonville Road Trip
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Everblades (32-11-0-2) prepare to face the Jacksonville Icemen (16-18-3-3) tonight at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena for the second of four matchups between the sides this week. Florida holds a 4-2-0-0 record against the Icemen in the 2020-21 campaign. Tonight's game will mark only the second time this season the Blades have taken on the Icemen in Jacksonville.
Last Time Out: A five-goal third period carried the Everblades past the Icemen on Wednesday at Hertz Arena. Florida's Max Cook scored in the second period, but Jacksonville started the third frame ahead 2-1. At the onset of the third, Florida jumped ahead 4-2 with three quick goals from John McCarron, Myles Powell, and Luke Nogard. The tallies all came within the first two minutes and 19 seconds of the period.
Blake Winiecki stretched Florida's lead to 5-2 eight minutes into the third, but then Jacksonville started to mount a surge. The Icemen grabbed two goals just two minutes and 11 seconds apart from Christopher Brown and Pascal Aquin to make it a 5-4 game with just under seven minutes left in the final period of regulation. The Jacksonville comeback ultimately fell short, and McCarron hit the empty net for Florida to seal a 6-4 victory.
Scouting the Icemen: Nick Saracino leads the Icemen with 31 points (10g-21a). Jacksonville defenseman Ryker Killins joined the team late in March and has found an offensive groove with points in his last three games (2g-1a). Forward Abbott Girduckis has also been hot as of late with three goals in his last five games. The Icemen are a tough team to beat when playing on their home ice. So far, Jacksonville owns a 10-4-1-2 record at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena this season.
Cooley Makes His Return to Florida: On Wednesday, goaltender Devin Cooley made his first start in net for the Everblades since Feb. 26 and recorded 38 saves to earn the win against Jacksonville. Cooley had previously been recalled to the Nashville Predators' (NHL) taxi squad, and then reassigned to the Chicago Wolves (AHL). Cooley played two games with the Wolves and won both starts. In his first two career AHL games, the 23-year-old stopped a combined 51 of 57 shots for a .895 save percentage. Including his winning effort on Wednesday, the rookie now holds a 9-4-0-0 record with the Everblades along with a 2.64 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.
Top Guns: The Florida Everblades possess the two leading goal-scorers in the ECHL with Michael Huntebrinker and John McCarron. Huntebrinker leads the league with 23 goals on the season. McCarron holds second place in the ECHL with 21 tallies after his two-goal effort on Wednesday against Jacksonville.
McCarron Continues to Climb: With two goals and two assists on Wednesday against Jacksonville, John McCarron moved up multiple Everblades all-time lists. McCarron's two tallies on Wednesday vaulted him into third place all-time with 112 Everblades goals. The 28-year-old captain passed Matt Demarski and now has his sights set on Mathieu Roy in second place all-time with 133 Everblades goals. McCarron's two points and two assists on Wednesday also catapulted him ahead of Ernie Hartlieb for fourth place all-time in Everblades points with 260. Both lists only include regular season statistics. McCarron is in his fifth year with the Everblades and his third season as captain with Florida.
WHO: Florida Everblades at Jacksonville Icemen
WHERE: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena - Jacksonville, Fla.
WHEN: Friday, April 9 at 7:00 p.m.
BROADCAST: Watch every Florida Everblades game on FloHockey.TV. Listen to tonight's exciting game action on ESPN 99.3 FM and online at 993espn.com.
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