Everblades Look to Bounce Back Saturday Night
ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades will look to snap a three-game losing streak as the Atlanta Gladiators skate into Hertz Arena for the second game of a two -game set Saturday night at 7:00 pm. Florida will be looking for its first win since rattling off a three-game winning streak which included back-to-back wins over the visiting South Carolina Stingrays by a combined 13-5 tally on January 7-8 and followed up with a 3-1 win at the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on January 14.
THE OPPONENT: The ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Ottawa Senators and the AHL's Belleville Senators, the Atlanta Gladiators have enjoyed a strong run as of late. Winners of four straight games and eight of their last nine, the Gladiators (20-14-2-1, .581) are right in the thick of things with Jacksonville (21-9-2-1, .682), the Everblades (19-11-3-3, .611) and Orlando (19-3-2-0, .588) in upper half of the ECHL South Division.
THE SERIES: Florida and Atlanta have met nine times this season, with the Everblades posting a 4-3-2-0 record. After a 3-2 overtime setback on November 14, the Blades took four of five from the Gladiators from December 15 through January 1, but Atlanta has taken the last three meetings between the long-time rivals. The Glads claimed a 3-2 overtime win on January 2 and posted a 4-2 victory this past Monday, both at Gas South Arena in Duluth, Ga. Atlanta added a 5-3 road victory Friday night.
TIME TO SEE OTHER PEOPLE: After a stretch in which the teams will have faced off nine times from December 15 through January 22, the Everblades and Gladiators will head their separate ways for a bit. Following Saturday's game, the teams will not meet again until April. The Blades and Glads will knock heads in Georgia on Wednesday, April 6, before meeting in the final two games of the regular season, April 15-16 in Hertz Arena.
LAST TIME OUT: In a 5-3 Atlanta victory Friday night, the Everblades struck first as Bobo Carpenter opened the scoring with a power-play goal midway through the first period. The Gladiators would take a 2-1 lead on a shorthanded goal late in the first stanza and a power-play marker early in the second, but the Everblades responded to take a 3-2 advantage into the second intermission on power-play goals by Avery Peterson and Xavier Bouchard. Atlanta drove home three unanswered goals over the final 15 minutes, including an empty netter in the closing minute, to seal the victory.
SHAKE AND BLAKE: Despite missing last Monday's game against Atlanta - for good reason - Blake Winiecki remains on quite a roll, collecting at least one point in each of the last five games he was in the Everblades lineup. Over his five-game point streak, Winiecki has registered eight points on three goals and five assists. The one game he missed? It was Monday night's ECHL All-Star Classic. And Winiecki scored two goals and picked up an assist in his first ECHL All-Star appearance.
BIG MILESTONES AHEAD: Not only are Alex Aleardi and Blake Winiecki tied for the league lead with 17 goals, but both are just one away from reaching major milestones in their professional careers. Aleardi currently sports 399 career points as a pro, while Winiecki is sitting on 99 pro goals. Both totals include regular-season and playoff performances. During a 426-game professional career on both sides of the Atlantic, Aleardi has registered 184 goals and 215 assists, good for 399 points. As an Everblade in 2014-15 and 2021-22, Aleardi has 26 goals and 33 assists over 59 games, good for 59 points. As for Winiecki, all but one of his professional goals have come while wearing the Everblades colors, as he has 98 career markers in 229 games as a Blade. He scored one goal as a member of the AHL's Charlotte Checkers, with whom he played seven games in 2019-20.
WELCOME TO FLORIDA, AVERY!: The Everblades debut of Avery Peterson was a bright spot for the home team in Friday's contest. Peterson, who appeared with the Gladiators in 77 games from 2018 through 2020 and registered 19 goals and 18 assists with Atlanta, potted his first Florida goal, scoring with the Blades on a two-man advantage at 14:00 of the second period. The goal tied the game at 2-2.
NEXT UP FOR THE CAPTAIN: With the franchise career point record in the rear-view mirror, Florida Everblades Captain John McCarron now turns his sights on the career goals section of the Blades' record book. With 138 regular-season goals and 156 overall goals, including playoffs, while donning an Everblades sweater, McCarron is just seven goals shy of the franchise career mark in regular-season goals and eight markers off the club's career standard in overall goals. Reggie Berg holds the top spot in both categories with 145 regular-season tallies and 164 overall goals.
WHO: Florida Everblades vs. Atlanta Gladiators
WHERE: Hertz Arena (Estero, Fla.)
WHEN: Saturday, January 22 at 7:00 pm
TICKETS: Purchase tickets for Saturday's game and all future Everblades games HERE.
PROMOTIONS: Join us for First Responder Night presented by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Enjoy a special tribute to our first responders. Also, enjoy live music from TC Carter from 5-7 pm during our Saturday tailgate. Secure your tickets for the weekend by visiting HERE.
Read more about the Blades' busy promotional schedule and great deals HERE.
BROADCAST: Watch every Florida Everblades game on FloHockey.TV. Listen to the exciting game action on Mixlr by visiting www.mixlr.com/florida-everblades!
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