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Everblades' Opening Week Headlined by Saturday Battle with Jacksonville

October 18, 2021 - ECHL (ECHL) - Florida Everblades News Release

ESTERO, Fla. - The 2021-22 season is here and the Florida Everblades invite fans all across Southwest Florida to be a part of the excitement!

Just one game is on tap this week, but it's a big one as the Blades welcome our in-state rivals, the Jacksonville Icemen, to Hertz Arena on Saturday to lift the lid on the 24th season of Everblades action. The season-opening faceoff is slated for 7:00 pm.

Every Saturday home matchup this season will kick off with a free pregame tailgate party and the season opener is no exception! Come out to Hertz Arena early and tailgate from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The Opening Night tailgate party will feature live music by A Few Rough Edges, kids' activities, and food and drinks for all ages!


Saturday, October 23 Florida Everblades vs. Jacksonville Icemen Hertz Arena 7:00 pm


LOOKING BACK ON 2020-21: Last season, the Everblades turned in a 42-19-5-3 record en route to a first-place finish in the ECHL's Eastern Conference before advancing to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Jacksonville turned in a 34-30-3-4 record and finished sixth in the conference. With a sixth-place finish, the Icemen did not qualify for the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs.

ICING THE ICEMEN: The Everblades and Jacksonville will meet 10 times this season, with four of those matchups taking place on Hertz Arena ice. Last season, the in-state rivals faced off 16 times, with the Blades claiming a 7-6-2-1 record.

PRESEASON RECAP: Last weekend, in a final tuneup for the new campaign, the Everblades split a pair of preseason games with the visiting Orlando Solar Bears. On Friday, the Blades dominated on both ends of the ice, picking up a 4-1 victory. Austin McIlmurray led the way for the Blades with a pair of goals, while goaltender Tomas Vomacka turned aside 27 shots. All told, nine different Everblades notched at least one point in the victory. On Saturday, Orlando turned the tables and claimed a 5-2 win. Blake Winiecki and John McCarron each picked up a goal and an assist for the Blades.

MEET THE BLADES: Check out the most current Everblades roster HERE.

GREET THE BLADES: All season ticket holders can meet the 2021-22 Everblades Tuesday night, October 19, at Hertz Arena. The Blades will host a Season Ticket Holder Pickup and Meet the Team Party at 6:00 pm. It's a great chance to rub elbows with the returning veterans, get to know the talented newcomers, and the best coaching staff in the ECHL. You can even say hi to Swampee! A fun night is in store for all!

COUNTING DOWN WITH THE CAPTAIN: Entering the new season, Everblades captain John McCarron continues his climb up the team's all-time regular-season leaderboards. With 122 career goals while donning a Blades sweater, McCarron currently ranks third in franchise history. McCarron is just 23 goals shy of Reggie Berg's all-time mark of 145. Not one to be selfish, McCarron also ranks fourth in Blades history with 162 assists, some 45 shy of Tom Buckley's team record of 207. With 284 career points, McCarron stands fourth, just 35 behind Berg's cherished record of 207.

EYE ON THE PRIZE: The 2021-22 edition of the Florida Everblades has high expectations to continue a long tradition of excellence which dates back to the franchise's inception in 1998-99. Last season, the Everblades appeared in the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs for the 21st time in 23 seasons. The Blades have qualified for the postseason every year in club history with the exception of the 2013-14 season, when the squad came up two points shy of a playoff berth, and the 2019-20 season which ended abruptly in March due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Florida is on a quest to capture the organization's second Kelly Cup and first since 2012.

BE A PART OF THE ACTION: Nothing beats Everblades hockey in person! Find tickets for Saturday's home opener and all 36 home games right HERE.

CAN'T MAKE IT OUT?: Watch every Florida Everblades game on FloHockey.TV. Listen to the exciting game action on ESPN Southwest Florida on 770 AM, 98.1 FM, 104.3 FM and online at

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