Everblades Head to Greenville for Rabbit Season
ESTERO, Fla. - Fresh off a dominating two-game sweep of the South Carolina Stingrays, the Florida Everblades will keep a South Carolina state of mind as the squad heads north for a two-game set against the ECHL's other Palmetto State entry, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The Blades will visit Greenville for the second time this year with action slated for Friday, January 14 and Saturday, January 15. The puck drops both nights at 7:05 pm.
The Everblades head to Greenville with impressive numbers away from Hertz Arena, as the squad is currently 12-0-3-1 on the road. In addition to not losing a road game in 16 contests this season, Florida's 12 road wins and 28 road points are both tops in the ECHL.
ON ICE THIS WEEK
Friday, January 14 Everblades at Swamp Rabbits Bon Secours Wellness Arena 7:05 pm.
Saturday, January 15 Everblades at Swamp Rabbits Bon Secours Wellness Arena 7:05 pm.
NEWS AND NOTES
LAST WEEK IN REVIEW - LUCKY 13!: It was a big week in The Swamp as the Everblades took two games from the South Carolina Stingrays in impressive fashion Friday and Saturday at Hertz Arena, outscoring the visitors 13-5 over 120 minutes of hockey. The Blades were a big 8-3 winner on Friday as John McCarron collected the team's first hat trick of the season and added two assists for the first five-point performance by an Everblade this season. Blake Winiecki added two goals, while three other Blades joined McCarron with two helpers. On Saturday, the Everblades picked up a 5-2 victory to close out the sweep. Five different players scored for Florida, while ECHL goals leader Alex Aleardi led the Blades with two assists, despite not adding to his league-best total of 17 goals.
THIS WEEK'S SLATE: The Everblades will make their second trip to the Upstate region of South Carolina this season for a pair of games against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Back in mid-November, the Blades skated into Bon Secours Wellness Arena and came away with a two-game sweep, taking a 4-0 win in the opener and claiming a 5-4 triumph in the finale. Parker Gahagen pitched a 21-save shutout and Joe Pendenza scored two goals to lead the effort in the first game, while five different Blades tallied goals, including Dylan Vander Esch, who snapped a 4-4 tie midway through the third period.
THE OPPONENT: The ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Florida Panthers and the AHL's Charlotte Checkers, the Swamp Rabbits find themselves in sixth place in the South Division with a 9-14-3-3 record.
THE SERIES: Florida sports a nifty 69-36-16 (.636) all-time record against Greenville. The teams have met twice this season with the Everblades picking up a pair of road victories. This weekend's series is the second straight series between the rivals to take place in Upstate South Carolina. Looking past this series, the South Division rivals will meet up again playing three games in Greenville January 28-30 before squaring off for a three-game set March 2, 4 and 5 at friendly Hertz Arena.
SOUTH DIVISION STANDINGS: The Everblades have moved back into first place in the ECHL South Division with an 18-8-3-3 record and 42 points. Jacksonville sits in second at 20-9-1-1 with an identical 42 points, but the Blades hold the tiebreaker with an 18-14 advantage in regulation wins. Atlanta (16-13-2-1, 35 points) has climbed into third place, while Orlando (16-12-1-0, 33 points) has slipped back to fourth. Norfolk (12-16-1-1, 26 points) is in fifth, Greenville (9-14-3-3, 24 points) finds itself in sixth, while South Carolina (10-17-3-0, 23 points) rounds out the table in seventh.
CALL IT MOUNT BLADESMORE: Four Everblades rank among the ECHL's top seven players in points, with only one other team has two players appearing in the league's Top-17. Coming off a huge two-game series against South Carolina that saw the Blades post 13 goals and 21 assists, Blake Winiecki sits atop the ECHL scoring heap with 38 points (16 G, 22 A). League goals leader Alex Aleardi is fourth with 34 points (17 G, 17 A), while John McCarron (14 G, 19 A) and Joe Pendenza (14 G, 18 A) are tied for fifth and alone in seventh with 33 points and 32 points, respectively.
McCARRON TWO POINTS SHY OF MATCHING CAREER POINT RECORDS: With three goals and two assists in Friday night's 8-3 win over South Carolina, John McCarron drew five points closer to the summit in his climb towards the top of all major offensive categories in the Everblades record book. With Friday's monster performance, Captain Everblade is just two points shy of tying the current club records for both regular-season and overall points. With his first five-point game of the year, McCarron now has registered 317 regular-season points and 363 points including playoffs. The records in those categories are currently held by Reggie Berg, who amassed 319 regular-season points and 365 overall points, respectively, from 1999 through 2007.
AND THE WINIECKI WATCH: With two goals in Friday's 8-3 shellacking of South Carolina, the Lakeville, Minn. product now has 98 career pro goals, including playoffs, leaving him two shy of 100 lamp lighters for his career.
UP NEXT: Following the quick trip to Greenville, the Everblades head to Duluth, Ga. for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee against the Atlanta Gladiators on Monday, January 17. The single-game will get underway at 12:30 pm. After the side trip to Georgia and the ECHL All-Star Break January 18-20, the Blades and Gladiators will resume the schedule and face each other in a two-game series at Hertz Arena Friday, January 21 and Saturday, January 22.
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