'Blades Vanquish Swamp Rabbits
ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades picked up the game-winning goal 17 seconds in, played a near-perfect second period, and picked up their second shutout of the season in a 5-0 rout of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at Hertz Arena on Friday night.
The 'Blades picked up their league-leading 25th win of the season by getting the offense started early. A turnover by goaltender Garrett Bartus led to a centering pass by Mitch Vandergunst to Kyle Platzer for the opening tally 17 seconds into the action.
The Swamp Rabbits battled back and generated some scoring chances, but the first period came to a close with the 'Blades in front by a goal.
The second period saw utter domination by Florida at 5-on-5. All four goals that the 'Blades scored in the middle frame were at 5-on-5, and many of them in tight of the goal mouth.
Shane Walsh's goal at 6:45 snapped a 12-game goal drought on a setup from defenseman Logan Roe, who was a +5 tonight along with his defense partner Patrick McCarron.
Two goals within three minutes extended the lead for Florida. After a Swamp Rabbits' power play came to a conclusion, Joe Cox found defenseman Matt Finn streaking out of the penalty box on a breakaway. Bartus made the initial save, but contact between him and Adam Larkin pushed the puck into the goal and gave the 'Blades a 3-0 lead.
Platzer, and 6'6" forward Justin Auger completed the scoring for the Everblades to close out the second period. In total, Florida outshot Greenville 18-5 in the middle frame.
The Swamp Rabbits came up empty on four power play chances, but the penalty kill came through with a clean sheet on the other end.
The series with the Everblades concludes on Saturday, January 12 at 7:05 p.m. from Hertz Arena. Catch all of the action on the Swamp Rabbits Broadcast Network, or on ECHL.TV.
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