Preview: 'Blades Vie to Even Series in Game 2 against Growlers
ESTERO, Fla. - Trailing by one game in the series, the Florida Everblades (8-3-1) aim to even the Eastern Conference Finals when they battle the Newfoundland Growlers (9-3-1) in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series on Saturday at Hertz Arena.
Eastern Conference Finals - Game 2: Everblades vs. Newfoundland
When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Hertz Arena
Listen: 99.3 FM ESPN
Social: Twitter | #NFLvsFLA
Last Time Out
Callum Booth allowed less than two goals for the fifth time in eight playoff starts, but his 29 saves weren't enough in a 2-0 loss to Newfoundland in Game 1 on Friday at Hertz Arena. Friday was the first time this season that neither the 'Blades nor their opponent scored in the first two periods. Giorgio Estephan finally broke the scoreless deadlock with a tally at the 13:20 mark of the third period, while Michael Garteig stopped all 32 shots he faced to earn the shutout. Zach O'Brien added an empty-net goal for Newfoundland with 14 seconds left in the game.
BOX SCORE | RECAP
Players to Watch
Kyle Platzer (FLA) - The fourth-year pro finished third on the 'Blades in scoring in the regular season with 57 points (24g-33a) but has gone four games without a point. His longest scoreless stretch in the regular season was three games, making his current drought his longest of the year. Platzer was tied for the team lead with his 16 multi-point games in the regular season.
Giorgio Estephan (NFL) - Estephan was one of six 20-goal scorers for Newfoundland in the regular season, and he notched his fourth goal of the postseason on Friday. He logged 15 multi-point outings in the regular season and 53 points (20g-33a) in 69 games for the Growlers. The rookie forward played five seasons in the Western Hockey League and racked up 325 points (131g-194a) in 327 games.
This is the second straight Eastern Conference Finals in which Florida will battle its opponent in a playoff series for the first time. Last year, the 'Blades faced Adirondack in the Eastern Conference Finals, a team it had never met in the playoffs. Prior to the playoff series, the 'Blades only two previous meetings with the Growlers came in Newfoundland on Oct. 12-13 of this season. Newfoundland won the first game, 3-2, but Florida bounced back to win the series finale by a 3-2 score.
Florida's penalty kill was tested frequently on Friday, but the 'Blades continued their dominance in that area and held Newfoundland scoreless on five chances on the power play. Dating back to Game 5 against Jacksonville in the South Division Semifinals, Florida has not allowed a power-play goal on 32 straight chances. The 'Blades lead all ECHL playoff teams with a 95.3% penalty kill.
Florida had gone 71 games without being shut out before going scoreless on Friday against Newfoundland. However, the 'Blades were proven at bouncing back after a slow night offensively in the regular season. The Everblades were limited to less than two goals in eight games in the regular season, but they averaged 4.13 goals per game in the tilt immediately following one where they had been held to less than two goals.
Of the 23 players listed on the 'Blades opening night roster, 13 are on the Everblades current playoff roster. Eight of the players on the current roster played in the season opener on Oct. 12 against Newfoundland: Grant Arnold, Patrick McCarron, Kyle Platzer, Tommy Thompson, John McCarron, Joe Cox, Logan Roe, and Jeremy Helvig.
Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals will air on 99.3 FM ESPN. Fans can listen online at 993espn.com. For the latest broadcast information throughout the playoffs, make sure to follow the 'Blades on Facebook and Twitter.
Following Saturday's contest, the series shifts to St. John's, Newfoundland, for Games 3, 4, and 5, if necessary. Faceoff for Game 3 is set for 5:30 ET on Wednesday.
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ECHL Stories from May 11, 2019
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- Preview: 'Blades Vie to Even Series in Game 2 against Growlers - Florida Everblades
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