Blades Short Rays in Eighth Straight Win
ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades (20-5-0-1) won their eighth straight game on Wednesday night with a 4-3 shootout victory against the South Carolina Stingrays (9-8-6-1). The Blades scored two shorthanded goals during regulation, while Brad McClure and Alex Kile scored in the shootout to secure the victory.
FIRST STAR: Alex Kile (FLA) - shootout goal, three shots
SECOND STAR: Arvin Atwal (FLA) - shorthanded goal, two shots
THIRD STAR: Blake Hillman (SC) - two assists, +2 rating
For the 20th time in 26 games, the Everblades found the back of the net first. Hugo Roy fed Levko Koper on a two-on-one, and Koper snuck the puck past Stingrays goaltender Sean Bonar to put Florida up 1-0 in the first period (11:20).
Seconds after killing a Florida power play in the second period, South Carolina gained the blue line and Tim Harrison picked the top right corner to send the game to a 1-1 tie (6:34).
Later in the second with Florida's Cody Sol in the penalty box, veteran Joe Pendenza moved into the South Carolina zone with Michael Huntebrinker on a shorthanded two-on-two. Pendenza scooted around a defender and tucked the disc underneath Bonar to score Florida's seventh shorthanded goal of the season and give the Blades a 2-1 lead (14:25).
One shorty was not enough for the Blades, as Arvin Atwal potted another shorthanded tally at the end of the second frame. Dangling in front of the net, the Blades defenseman watched as Bonar got plowed into by his own player, at which point Atwal slid the puck across the goalline. The last time the Everblades scored two power-play goals in a single game was Jan. 12, 2018 against the Jacksonville Icemen.
South Carolina got a goal back in the third when Dylan Steman scored off a rebound to make it a 3-2 game (5:46). A few minutes later with Florida on a power play, South Carolina got a shorthanded goal of their own when Dan DeSalvo scored on a breakaway to send the game to a 3-3 tie (9:52).
Regulation finished at 3-3, and overtime saw Florida kill off two separate four-on-three power plays for South Carolina.
In the following shootout, Brad McClure scored on the first attempt for Florida. Hildebrand proceeded to shut down the two Stingray attempts, and Alex Kile sealed the victory by deking around Bonar and sliding the puck inside the right post.
Florida will square off with South Carolina again at Hertz Arena on Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy 239 Fridays! Fans can purchase two Premium Level seats, two poutines and two autographed programs for just $39! Take advantage of the 239 Fridays online only offer at FloridaEverblades.com/239. Kids 12 and under eat free with purchase of an adult entree at Breakaway Sports Pub, located inside Hertz Arena. Find tickets for the game on Feb. 26 HERE.
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