Preview: Everblades Host Gladiators to Wrap up Three-Game Series
ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades (22-7-5-0, 49 pts.) conclude a three-game series with the Atlanta Gladiators (8-18-5-1, 22 pts.) on Saturday night, aiming for a series victory against their South Division rival.
Game 35: Everblades vs. Atlanta
When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Hertz Arena
Social: Twitter | #ATLvsFLA
Last Time Out
Nolan LaPorte and Luke Stork registered goals and Sean Bonar made 25 saves to give Atlanta a 2-1 win over the Everblades on Friday night at Hertz Arena. Florida's Blake Winiecki started the scoring in the second period with his ninth goal of the season off a feed from Justin Auger. Auger's assist extended his point streak to six games, which is tied for the longest point streak by a 'Blades player this season. Jamie Phillips made 15 saves and suffered his first home loss.
BOX SCORE | RECAP
Players to Watch
Blake Winiecki (FLA) - The Lakeville, Minnesota, native scored a goal for the third time in his last five games on Friday night to extend his point streak to a career-high five games. A rookie forward, Winiecki has three goals and three assists in his point streak and has recorded at least one point in seven of his last eight games.
Sean Bonar (ATL) - The fifth-year pro earned his third win of the season on Friday night and matched his season-low by yielding just one goal. Despite allowing two goals or fewer in six of his 13 appearances, Bonar has a record of just 3-2-0-1 in games where he has limited an opposing offense to less than three goals. A Princeton University product, Bonar has been a journeyman in the ECHL and has also played for Indy, Fort Wayne, Wichita, Brampton, and Orlando.
Saturday night is the sixth of 11 total meetings between Florida and Atlanta this season and the third of six matchups at Hertz Arena. In 162 previous all-time tilts with the Gladiators, the Everblades have posted a record of 95-52-15. Prior to Friday's setback, Florida had not lost to Atlanta in regulation in more than two years, with the most recent loss in regulation coming on Dec. 17, 2016.
When Florida has reached three goals in a game, success has followed. The 'Blades have yet to lose a game in regulation when they have found the back of the net three times, sporting a record of 22-0-4-0 in that scenario.
Florida has allowed less than three goals in four of its last five contests and has held its opponents to less than three tallies 20 times this year in 34 games. The 'Blades rank second in the ECHL in goals allowed per game (2.53).
No Shots for You
The 'Blades have been one of the best in the ECHL at limiting opposing offenses' scoring chances and equaled their season-best by holding Atlanta to only 17 shots on goal on Friday. Florida has allowed less than 20 shots on goal on three occasions this year and has given up 30 or more shots in just nine of its 34 games.
Answering the Bell
Atlanta held Florida to just one goal on Friday night, which is just the fifth time this season Florida has scored less than two goals. However, the 'Blades have had a strong response in the games immediately following a contest where they were limited to less than two tallies. Florida has averaged four goals per game in the game after the contest where it scored less than two times.
Jeremy Helvig, who is the likely starter in goal for Florida, has put together an impressive stretch recently. He has secured six straight wins and is unbeaten in nine consecutive games, both of which are the longest such streaks by a Florida goaltender this season.
Florida continues its stretch of back to back weekends at home with a three-game series against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday next week.
Single-game tickets for all regular season home games are on sale now!
Ticket packages for the 2018-19 season are still on sale! Become part of the Everblades Family with a Partial Season or a Flexible Voucher Package that fits your schedule and budget! All Ticket & Voucher Packages provide savings and special benefits!
SPECIAL OFFER! Purchase a new ticket package for the 2018-19 season and receive a $20 gift card to Ford's Garage and an Everblades T-Shirt!
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Images from this story
Florida Everblades forward Joe Cox (39) scraps with the Atlanta Gladiators
(Kevin Bires Photography)
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