Second Period Burst Sends 'Blades Past Norfolk on Opening Night
ESTERO, Fla. - Tanner Jeannot registered his second straight multi-point game and the Florida Everblades scored three times in a seven-minute span in the second period to top the Norfolk Admirals, 4-2, in the Everblades' home opener on Saturday night at Hertz Arena.
Jeannot (1g-1a), Zach Magwood (2a) and Ben Masella (2a) all registered multi-point games to lead Florida (3-0-0-0, 6 pts.) to its third straight win in its third straight game against the Admirals (1-3-0-0, 2 pts.).
The Admirals got on the board first at the end of their first power play of the game at 14:59 of the first period. Alex Rodriguez teed up Ben Holmstrom right outside the crease for the initial shot. Holmstrom's shot ricocheted off Florida goaltender Ken Appleby's mask, and he batted it down out of the air to give Norfolk the first lead of the game.
After going scoreless in the first period for the first time this season, Florida jumped on Norfolk for three goals in the first 10 minutes of the second period to take the lead for good. Aaron Harstad tied the game at one apiece just two minutes into the second. An attempted pass to the slot from behind the net the puck found its way to Harstad at the point, and he wired a shot through traffic over the blocker of Norfolk netminder Alex Sakellaropoulos.
Less than two minutes later, Logan Roe pushed Florida ahead, 2-1, on a power-play goal. Justin Auger dished the puck to the high slot for Brandon Fortunato, who sliced into the slot and found Roe in the right circle. Roe ripped a one-time blast past Sakellaropoulos to give the 'Blades the advantage for good.
Jeannot then scored his fourth goal in three games at the 8:48 mark of the second to push Florida's cushion to two goals. The Everblades raced out to a three-on-two rush, and Jeannot picked up the puck in the high slot. He ripped a shot that glanced off Sakellaropoulos and trickled into the net.
Norfolk's John Gustafsson scored on a five-on-three power play with six minutes, 16 seconds left in the second to pull the Admirals within one.
Florida then dominated the third period and outshot the Admirals by 13 (19-6) to stave off Norfolk's comeback effort. Michael Huntebrinker scored an empty-net goal with 30 seconds left in the game to seal Florida's 18th win in a home opener in 22 seasons.
Florida improved to 18-3-1 in home openers and 3-1-0-0 under head coach Brad Ralph...Jeannot scored his fourth goal of the season and has at least one goal in all three games this season...Brandon Fortunato recorded his first professional point with a secondary assist on the 'Blades second goal...The Everblades held Norfolk to just six shots in each period...Florida had a 113-70 shot differential over the three-game stretch against Norfolk...Appleby finished with 16 saves for his second straight win.
Florida travels to Orlando on Friday to start a home-and-home series with the Solar Bears. Faceoff is slated for 7 p.m. at the Amway Center.
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