Rough Weekend for Florida, Home Stand Ahead
Friday Shutout: The Everblades were shut out for the first time this season on Friday against the Orlando Solar Bears. Luke McInnis got his first professional goal for the Bears to put Orlando up 1-0 in the first period. Mark Auk followed suit a few minutes later to put the Blades in a 2-0 hole. Jerry D'Amigo scored an empty netter to seal the Solar Bears' 3-0 victory. Florida goaltender Jake Hildebrand played well despite the loss and stopped 39 of 41 shots.
Saturday Comeback Falls Short: Joe Pendenza put Florida up 1-0 early in the first period with a sharp wrist shot. Orlando's Aaron Luchuk tied the game later in the first and then gave the Bears the lead in the second period with consecutive tallies.
After Tristin Langan gave Orlando a 3-1 lead, Blake Winiecki scored with under six minutes left in the third period to bring Florida back to within one. Down 3-2 late in the third, goaltender Jake Hildebrand was forced to make multiple one-on-one saves to keep the Blades' hopes alive. Eventually, the Solar Bears scored two empty net goals to finish off the Everblades.
Outrun on Sunday: Florida scored first once again on Sunday. This time, it was Evan Neugold giving the Everblades an early 1-0 advantage. Neugold's tally was his first of the year. The Bears waited until late in the first period to answer back with goals from Tristin Langan and Jerry D'Amigo.
Orlando scored twice more in the middle of the third period to take a firm 4-1 grip on the game. Colby Sissons scored his first of the season with six minutes left in the final frame, but the Blades would not come any closer. An empty net goal from Jake Coughler sealed the 5-2 decision for the Solar Bears. Florida outshot Orlando 36-18 in the final two periods, and 44-33 in the game. Sunday marked the first Everblades action for new goaltender Evan Buitenhuis. Buitenhuis finished with 28 saves on 32 shots.
Looking Ahead: The Everblades return to Hertz Arena on Wednesday, Mar. 10 at 7:30 p.m. against the South Carolina Stingrays.
First Responders Weekend kicks off when Florida squares off with South Carolina at Hertz Arena on Friday, Mar. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Then, the Everblades complete the week against the Orlando Solar Bears on Saturday, Mar. 13 at 7:00 p.m. at Hertz Arena.
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ECHL Stories from March 8, 2021
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