Rubber Match for Blades
ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades (33-15-0-2) meet the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (22-15-9-3) for this week's rubber match tonight at Hertz Arena. This evening is the third encounter of the week between Florida and Greenville. So far, each side has claimed victory once this week in Estero.
Last Time Out: Greenville jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with a goal from Liam Pecararo just over a minute into the first period. The Swamp Rabbits then built their advantage to 3-0 on a pair of second-period goals from Garrett Thompson and Frank Hora.
Down by three goals late in the third, John McCarron and the Everblades began to mount a comeback. McCarron knocked in two rebounds just 37 seconds apart to bring the Blades back to within one. The pair of goals from McCarron marked the two quickest tallies scored by the Everblades this season. The heroics from the Florida captain fell short however, and Hora hit the empty net to seal a 4-2 Greenville win.
Scouting the Swamp Rabbits: Defenseman Samuel Jardine leads Greenville with 35 points (2g-33a) on the season. Jardine's 33 assists rank him third in the ECHL. Joey Haddad, Garrett Thompson, and rookie Max Zimmer all pace the Rabbits with 13 goals apiece. Goaltender Ryan Bednard has been steady for Greenville this season with a 2.54 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. Bednard made 30 saves on 32 Everblades shots last night to earn his 17th win of the season. The Rabbits have gone to overtime more than any other team in the league this season with 19 of their 49 games needing extra time.
Top Guns: The Florida Everblades possess the two leading goal-scorers in the ECHL with Michael Huntebrinker and John McCarron. After two tallies last night against Greenville, McCarron tied Huntebrinker with 23 goals on the season. McCarron has posted four multi-goal games on the season to lead the Everblades. Huntebrinker's goal total 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. Huntebrinker also leads the league with 10 tallies on the power play and seven game-winning goals.
Defending the Swamp: No team has played better at home this season than the Florida Everblades. The Blades are 19-4-0-2 with a league-best .800 points percentage at Hertz Arena and have won seven of their last nine games in Estero. Since the start of February, Florida owns a sterling 12-2-0-2 record at home. In 25 home games this season, the Everblades have outscored opponents 90-58 for a +32 rating at Hertz Arena. Forward John McCarron has posted points in his last nine home games to the tune of eight goals and nine assists in that span. Fellow forwards Michael Huntebrinker (5g-5a) and Joe Pendenza (3g-6a) have both registered points in seven of their last eight home contests. Pendenza's impressive run at Hertz Arena also features points in 11 of his last 13 games at home (5g-10a).
WHO: Florida Everblades vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits
WHERE: Hertz Arena - Estero, Fla.
WHEN: Saturday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m.
TICKETS: Find tickets for tonight's game HERE.
PROMOTIONS: It is Nickelodeon Night presented by the Animal Refuge Center. The Blades will wear specialty jerseys themed after the hit Nickelodeon show, PAW Patrol! The jersey auction proceeds will be donated to the Animal Refuge Center. Download the DASH Auction App to bid on the jerseys and bid HERE! All the fun starts early with the Saturday Tailgate Party! Enjoy free Live Music from Rob Ziruolo outside Hertz Arena before the game from 5:00-7:00 p.m.!
BROADCAST: Watch every Florida Everblades game on FloHockey.TV. Listen to the exciting game action on WJBX News, Talk & More on 104.3 FM, 101.5 FM and AM 770, plus online at wjbxnewstalk.com.
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