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Stage Set for Teddy Bear Toss against Mavericks

December 14, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Florida Everblades News Release

Florida Everblades right wing Justin Auger
Florida Everblades right wing Justin Auger
(Florida Everblades, Credit: Kevin Bires Photography)

ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades (15-7-1-2, 33 pts.) close out their only home series against a Mountain Division team this season when they host the Kansas City Mavericks (10-12-2-0, 22 pts.) on Saturday night at Hertz Arena for Teddy Bear Toss presented by Synovus.

VITALS:

Game 26: Everblades vs. Kansas City Mavericks

When: 7 p.m. ET

Where: Hertz Arena

Tickets: Ticketmaster

Watch: ECHL TV

Listen: WJBX (101.5 FM, 104.3 FM, 770 AM)

Social: Twitter | Instagram

Promotion: Teddy Bear Toss (click for more info)

Last time out

Zach Magwood potted his second multi-goal game of the season, and Michael Huntebrinker contributed a season-high three assists to help the Everblades top Kansas City, 5-3, in the series opener of the two-game set on Friday at Hertz Arena. Florida tabbed two goals in the first 92 seconds of the opening period, as Levko Koper and Joe Pendenza scored only 10 seconds apart to give the 'Blades the momentum. Justin Auger (1g-1a) had his fourth multi-point game of the season, while Ken Appleby made 26 saves in his third straight win. RECAP | BOX SCORE

Series At A Glance

Saturday is only the fourth all-time meeting between Florida and Kansas City and the first time the two teams will play on consecutive days. Prior to Friday night, the visiting team had won each of the first two matchups. Florida picked up a 3-2 win at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena on Feb. 18, 2018, and lost, 4-3, in a shootout on Nov. 19, 2016, at Hertz Arena. Florida holds an 83-43-17 record, a winning percentage of .640, against current Western Conference teams. The 'Blades are 2-0-1-1 against Mountain Division teams this season.

Players to Watch

Justin Auger (FLA) - Last season's Teddy Bear Toss goal scorer, Auger netted a goal and an assist in Friday's series opener and now has eight multi-point games in his ECHL career. The Waterloo, Ontario, native struck just 3:54 into last year's Teddy Bear Toss and finished with two goals for his first career ECHL multi-goal game. The sixth-year pro is second on the team in goal scoring this season with 10 tallies and has 22 career ECHL goals in 48 games.

Tad Kozun (KC) - Another familiar face that was in the South Division last season, Kozun had an assist in Friday's game and now has four points (4a) in four career games at Hertz Arena. The Nipawin, Saskatchewan, native had a breakout sophomore season in the ECHL last season, posting 50 points (18g-32a) in 59 games with the South Carolina Stingrays. He had at least one point in six of the seven games he played against Florida and finished with seven assists in head-to-head meetings.

An Apple A Day

Appleby has shouldered a bulk of the load in goal lately and is expected to make his fifth straight start on Saturday. Perhaps even more remarkable is that he has appeared in eight straight games. That's by far the longest stretch of consecutive appearances by an Everblades goaltender over the last two seasons. The longest stretch of consecutive appearances last season was four, as Jeremy Helvig started in four straight games from March 2-8.

Milestone Markers

Several Everblades players are set to hit milestones for games played should they suit up in Saturday's contest. John McCarron is one game from 200 with the franchise, Ken Appleby is one appearance shy of 150 in his pro career, and Patrick McCarron is one away from 150 tilts in his ECHL career. Along the lines of games played milestones, defenseman Logan Roe (272 GP) is only nine games away from fifth place in franchise history.

Going Back to Back

Florida's two-goal burst in 10 seconds on Friday was its fastest back-to-back goals this season, 13 seconds faster than its previous best of 23 seconds, which came in a 5-1 win over Orlando on Nov. 13. Oddly enough, the Everblades' two fastest times for consecutive goals over the last two seasons have both come against Mountain Division foes. The 'Blades scored twice in seven seconds on Jan. 16, 2019, in a 4-0 win over the Rapid City Rush.

Next Up

Florida continues its seven-game homestand with three games at home next week, starting with a Wednesday night matchup against the Atlanta Gladiators.

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Images from this story

Florida Everblades right wing Justin Auger
Florida Everblades right wing Justin Auger

(Kevin Bires Photography)
  

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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