Everblades Set for Thursday Encounter
ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades (29-10-0-2) meet the Orlando Solar Bears (20-15-3-1) tonight for the first of three meetings this week at Amway Center. Thursday will mark the 19th engagement of the year between the Blades and the Bears with Florida holding a 12-5-0-1 record in the season series. Since dropping three in a row to Orlando on Mar. 5, 6, and 7, the Everblades have won their last two meetings against the Solar Bears.
Last Time Out: The Everblades took down the Wheeling Nailers (10-23-5-0) by a score of 5-3 on Saturday at Hertz Arena. After a scoreless first period, both teams hung two goals on the scoreboard in the second stanza. Huntebrinker scored his league-leading 10th power-play goal of the season to give Florida a 1-0 lead. In between a pair of Nailers goals from Cody Sylvester, Blake Winiecki grabbed his 13th tally of the season. Florida posted three goals in the third period for the second straight game on Saturday. Myles Powell gave Florida the lead almost four minutes into the third with his sixth goal of the season. The 5-3 win for Florida included multi-point efforts from Winiecki, Alex Kile, Hugo Roy, and Max Cook. Goaltender Jake Hildebrand recorded his second straight win with 37 saves.
Last Time Against Orlando: Jake Hildebrand recorded his second shutout of the season for the Everblades while helping Florida to a 3-0 win over the Orlando Solar Bears at Amway Center on Mar. 16. Forward Max Cook scored his first goal with the Everblades in the third period. John McCarron and Hugo Roy found the back of the net as well for the Everblades.
Scouting the Solar Bears: Orlando is led by forward Aaron Luchuk's 38 points (12g-26a). Rookie Joe Garreffa has been impressive since coming over from the Allen Americans (22-13-2-0) with one goal and five assists in eight games with Orlando. Clint Windsor has been solid in net as of late for the Bears. The 27-year-old goaltender has a 10-9-0-1 record with a 2.64 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.
Blades Add Woolf to Blue Line: The Everblades announced that they have agreed to terms with defenseman Dylan Woolf. Woolf, 24, is entering his first professional season. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound blueliner just finished his fourth year with the St. Lawrence University Saints of the Eastern College Athletic Conference. In his senior season, Woolf notched three points (1g-2a) in 12 appearances. A native of Victoria, Minnesota, Woolf served as the Saints' captain for three seasons. The Saints most recently won the ECAC Hockey title in 2020-21.
Top Guns: Florida's Michael Huntebrinker leads the ECHL with 22 goals on the season. The forward struck most recently with a power-play goal in the second period against Wheeling last Saturday. Everblades forward John McCarron is tied for second place in the ECHL with 19 tallies on the season after his goal last Friday against the Nailers. Huntebrinker's 22 goals this season is already a career best. The 28-year-old had previously scored 20 goals in both the 2017-18 season with the Reading Royals and last season with the Everblades. McCarron's career-best goal total came in the 2017-18 season when he scored 29 with Florida.
Blades Lead the Way: After winning two of three against the Nailers last week, the Everblades still lead the Eastern Conference and the entire ECHL with a .732 points percentage. Florida sports the most prolific offense (3.71 goals for per game) and second stingiest defense in the league (2.51 goals against per game). The Blades also feature the league's best penalty kill at 87.8%.
WHO: Florida Everblades at Orlando Solar Bears
WHERE: Amway Center - Orlando, Fla.
WHEN: Thursday, April 1 at 7:00 p.m.
BROADCAST: Watch every Florida Everblades game on FloHockey.TV. Listen to the exciting game action on the Everblades Broadcast Network at WJBX News, Talk & More on 104.3 FM, 101.5 FM and AM 770, plus online at wjbxnewstalk.com.
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ECHL Stories from April 1, 2021
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