'Blades Weekly: Single Game Pits Florida against Orlando
ESTERO, Fla. - Following their final road game of the regular season on Sunday, the Florida Everblades (45-16-5-0, 95 pts.) settle in for three straight weeks of home games to close out the 2018-19 regular season.
In its last regular-season stretch of four games in five days last week, Florida picked up wins in the first three games to stretch its winning streak to a season-high eight games. Coupled with the two shootout wins to start the week, Florida's one-goal win on Saturday gave it four straight wins in games decided by the minimum. After starting the season 1-4-4 in one-goal affairs, the 'Blades have gone 10-5-1 since then.
Florida plays only one contest this week, a Saturday home tilt against the Orlando Solar Bears. This week is the only week of the season in which the 'Blades play just one game. Through 10 matchups against Orlando this season, the 'Blades have compiled a 5-3-2 record, including a 2-1-1 mark at Hertz Arena. Four of Florida's 11 games that have required overtime this season have come against Orlando.
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
March 13 | at Orlando Solar Bears - W, 5-4 (SO)
March 15 | at Atlanta Gladiators - W, 2-1 (SO)
March 16 | at South Carolina Stingrays - W, 4-3
March 17 | at South Carolina Stingrays - L, 4-6
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
March 23 | vs. Orlando Solar Bears | 7 p.m. - Hertz Arena
Blake Winiecki netted the game-winning goal in Florida's three wins this past week, becoming the first 'Blades player this season to score the game winner in three straight contests.
Winiecki registered three points (2g-1a) on Saturday to surpass the 50-point plateau for the season. The Lakeville, Minnesota, native ranks sixth among ECHL rookies with 53 points (23g-30a).
Philippe Hudon scored his first career professional goal on Wednesday against Orlando and then registered his first career multi-point game with a goal and an assist on Saturday.
Matt Finn and Derek Sheppard both posted power-play goals on Sunday in South Carolina, and the pair are tied for second among ECHL defensemen with six power-play strikes apiece.
The Everblades closed out their road schedule for the regular season with three wins in four games and lead the ECHL with 23 road victories.
The 'Blades won both of their shootout affairs to start the week and are the only ECHL team that has not lost in a shootout this season (5-0).
Including its shootout win on March 9, Florida played in three consecutive games that required at least overtime for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
Florida scored shorthanded on Sunday against South Carolina and is tied for the league lead with 12 road shorthanded goals this season.
SOUTH DIVISION STANDINGS
xy - Florida Everblades: 45-16-5-0, 95 PTS
Orlando Solar Bears: 34-23-4-1, 73 PTS
Jacksonville Icemen: 33-27-2-2, 70 PTS
South Carolina Stingrays: 30-30-5-1, 66 PTS
Atlanta Gladiators: 27-25-7-3, 64 PTS
Norfolk Admirals: 25-31-5-3, 58 PTS
Greenville Swamp Rabbits: 21-36-3-3, 48 PTS
X - clinched playoff position; Y - clinched division
G: Joe Cox (27)
A: Cox (34)
PTS: Cox (61)
+/-: Cox (+46)
SH: John McCarron (178)
GAA: Jeremy Helvig (2.31)
SV%: Helvig (.915)
Lee County Schools Night (March 23) - Join the 'Blades for a free pregame tailgate from 5-7 p.m. with live music and bounce houses for the kids! It's also Lee County Schools Night presented by Achieva Credit Union.
$2 Wednesday (March 27) - It's the final $2 Wednesday of the regular season, featuring $2 beer, wine and hot dogs courtesy of Bud Light, Barefoot and John Morrell!
Bottomless Popcorn Friday (March 29) - It's a Bottomless Popcorn and Kids Eat Free in Breakaway Sports Pub Friday when the 'Blades face the Norfolk Admirals.
Guns & Hoses Night (March 30) - The night gets underway with a Firefighter against Police game at 4:15 p.m. as part of the 'Blades annual Guns & Hoses Night presented by Muscular Dystrophy Association. The Everblades will wear specialty jerseys that will be auctioned off postgame to benefit MDA, and there will be a free pregame tailgate from 5-7 p.m.
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.
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