'Blades Weekly: In-State Rivalries Abound for 4-Game Homestand
John McCarron (25) of the Florida Everblades against the Orlando Solar Bears
(Florida Everblades, Credit: Kevin Bires Photography)
ESTERO, Fla. - Coming off one of the more challenging road trips of the season, the Florida Everblades return home this week to start a four-game homestand and a string of games against the Orlando Solar Bears, their principal in-state rival.
Last week, Florida took on Cincinnati, Fort Wayne and Toledo, which all made the playoffs a season ago and finished first, second and third in the Central Division, respectively. The Everblades had not faced the Komets or Walleye since the 2016-17 season and had not played at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati since the 2012-13 campaign. Trailing late in the third period of each of the first two games, Florida narrowly missed tying both affairs before allowing empty-net goals. The Everblades negotiated a two-goal comeback in the third period on Saturday in Toledo, their first multi-goal comeback of the season.
Florida jumps right back into South Division play this week with a pair of games against Orlando and its first matchup of the year against the Jacksonville Icemen. Florida will play four of its next five games against Orlando and will have completed almost half of the 14-game season series by the final tilt of that stretch. The Everblades have dominated the Icemen in their first two seasons in the ECHL, compiling a 22-3-2 record against Jacksonville in that span.
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
Oct. 30 | at Cincinnati Cyclones - L, 3-5
Nov. 1 | at Fort Wayne Komets - L, 2-4
Nov. 2 | at Toledo Walleye - W, 4-3 (OT)
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Nov. 6 | vs. Orlando Solar Bears | 7:30 p.m. - Hertz Arena
Nov. 8 | vs. Orlando Solar Bears | 7:30 p.m. - Hertz Arena
Nov. 9 | vs. Jacksonville Icemen | 7 p.m. - Hertz Arena
Second-year forward Blake Winiecki scored his fifth career game-winning goal and first overtime goal of his career in Florida's 4-3 overtime victory over Toledo on Saturday.
Despite suffering the loss on Friday, Everblades goaltender Cam Johnson established a new career-high with 36 saves against Fort Wayne. He made 17 saves in the first period to set a single-period high for a Florida goaltender this season.
Justin Auger netted two goals against Toledo on Saturday for his first multi-goal game of the season and third of his Everblades career.
'Blades captain John McCarron has notched one point in each of Florida's six road games and is tied for the ECHL's longest road point streak this season at six games (1g-5a).
The Everblades have come from behind in all five of their wins this season, including answering a two-goal deficit in the third period of Saturday's win in Toledo.
After allowing the first goal of the game in its first six games, Florida scored the first goal in each of its last two games of the week against Fort Wayne and Toledo.
Seven of Florida's eight games have been decided by less than three goals, including three games separated by just one goal. The Everblades are 3-0-0-0 in one-goal affairs.
The Everblades rank fourth in the ECHL in shots against per game (27.6) and have outshot their opponent in six of their eight games.
SOUTH DIVISION STANDINGS
South Carolina Stingrays: 6-1-0-0, 12 PTS
Greenville Swamp Rabbits: 5-5-0-0, 10 PTS
Florida Everblades: 5-3-0-0, 10 PTS
Atlanta Gladiators: 4-3-0-0, 8 PTS
Orlando Solar Bears: 2-4-0-1, 5 PTS
Norfolk Admirals: 2-6-1-0, 5 PTS
Jacksonville Icemen: 1-4-2-0, 4 PTS
G: Justin Auger/Michael Huntebrinker/Blake Winiecki (4)
A: Zach Magwood/John McCarron/Logan Roe (5)
PTS: Auger (4)
+/-: Auger/Michael Downing/Ben Masella (+3)
SH: Huntebrinker (29)
GAA: Ken Appleby (2.45)
SV%: Appleby (.904)
Swampee's Birthday (Nov. 8) - Help celebrate the cake day of the meanest, greenest alligator around with Swampee's Birthday presented by Arthrex! The first 500 fans will receive an Everblades jersey courtesy of Arthrex. Secure your jersey ahead of time by purchasing a package at floridaeverblades.com/jersey.
Military Night (Nov. 9) - Pay tribute to our nation's armed forces on Military Night presented by National Coalition for Patriots! The 'Blades will wear special military-themed jerseys that will be auctioned off postgame to benefit National Coalition for Patriots. The night gets underway with a free pregame tailgate from 5-7 p.m., featuring live music, grilled-to-order food, bounce houses and more.
EVERBLADES 2018-19 BROADCAST INFORMATION
Catch all the exciting action of Everblades hockey on WJBX News, Talk & More on 101.5 FM, 104.3 FM, 770 AM on the radio waves, or listen for FREE online.
Fans can also watch the games on a subscription basis on ECHL.TV.
Images from this story
John McCarron (25) of the Florida Everblades against the Orlando Solar Bears
(Kevin Bires Photography)
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