High Five: 'Blades Shut out Swamp Rabbits, 5-0
ESTERO, Fla. - Kyle Platzer netted his second multi-goal game of the season, Jeremy Helvig stopped 24 shots in his first professional shutout, and the Florida Everblades knocked off the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 5-0, on Friday night at Hertz Arena.
Leading by a goal after the first period, the Everblades (25-7-5-0, 55 pts.) scored four times in the second period to cushion their lead on the way to their 13th straight win against the Swamp Rabbits (14-21-3-2, 33 pts.).
The 'Blades wasted no time getting on the board, scoring 17 seconds into the game. Greenville goaltender Garrett Bartus tried playing the puck behind the net but sent it right to Florida forward Mitch Vandergunst on the right wing. As Vandergunst got the puck, he threw it on net, and it deflected off traffic in front to Platzer. Platzer picked up the loose puck in the slot and rifled it past a flailing Bartus for the 'Blades fastest goal to start a game this season.
It took more than 20 minutes, but Florida added to its lead with a goal from Shane Walsh at 6:45 of the second period. Walsh started the play by sending a pass to Logan Roe, who was crossing the offensive blue line. Roe darted into the zone and sent it back to Walsh in the left circle for a wrist shot that beat Bartus' glove hand.
Right on the heels of a successful penalty kill, Matt Finn darted out of the penalty box to score the third of the night. After serving his minor penalty, Finn busted out of the box and received a breakout pass from Joe Cox. Finn made a head fake right and deke to the left and tucked the puck behind Bartus at the 11:45 mark of the second period.
Florida then added another at 14:21 of the middle period on Platzer's second of the night and 13th of the season. Platzer followed up Roe's initial blast from the point with a shot from the left circle. His initial try clanged off the left post, but he stayed with the play and chipped in the rebound, giving him 11 points (4g-7a) in his last six games.
The 'Blades capped the scoring with 56 seconds to play in the second with a goal from Justin Auger, his 10th tally in just 18 games. Roe created the scoring chance by angling to the front of the net from the right circle. Bartus managed to keep out Roe's attempt, but Auger found the loose puck at the side of the open net and shoveled it in to increase his point streak to nine games (6g-4a).
Roe continued his offensive tear with a career-high three assists. He finished as a +5 in the game to add to his league-leading plus-minus rating of +36.
With the shutout win, Helvig moved his individual win streak to eight games, a 'Blades season-high. He hasn't lost in regulation in 11 games.
Florida finishes the three-game series with Greenville and a six-game homestand with the series finale on Saturday at 7 p.m.
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Justin Auger and the Florida Everblades celebrate Auger's goal against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits
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