Wild Win-Iecki: Everblades Hold off Swamp Rabbits for Shootout Victory
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Blake Winiecki scored the only goal of the shootout and goaltender Jeremy Helvig stopped all three shooters he faced to lift the Florida Everblades to a 3-2 shootout win over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Friday night at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Justin Auger and Matt Finn both registered goals in regulation for Florida and Helvig finished with 26 saves to give the Everblades (20-6-5-0, 45 pts.) their third straight win and at least one standings point in 18 of their last 19 games.
The second to last to go in the shootout, Winiecki snuck a shot five-hole on Greenville goaltender Chris Nell to put the 'Blades ahead in the shootout, 1-0. Johno May then appeared to have tied the shootout for Greenville (12-18-3-1, 28 pts.) after tapping a shot past Helvig at the near post, but the goal was waived off to make Florida the first team in the Eastern Conference to 20 wins.
Greenville struck for the first goal of the game on a two-on-one rush into the offensive zone. While moving through the left circle, Stephen Pierog managed to squeeze a shot past the short side on Helvig at the 9:04 mark of the first period.
Florida answered with a pivotal goal in the last minute of the opening frame to tie the game at one. On a strong shift by the 'Blades top forward line of Justin Auger, John McCarron, and Blake Winiecki, Auger finally capitalized on the extended pressure in the offensive zone. After his initial shot was stopped, Auger retrieved the puck at the near side of the net and tucked the wraparound past the far post with just 50 seconds left in the opening frame.
Matt Finn helped propel the 'Blades ahead in the second period with his second goal in his last three games. With Florida on its first power play of the night, Finn unleashed a blast from the high slot that beat Nell seven minutes, six seconds into the middle frame.
Greenville bounced back in the early stages of the third to tie the game with a goal from Will Merchant that eventually forced overtime. Merchant created a turnover just outside his own blue line and scored from between the circles on the ensuing breakaway to knot the score at two.
Helvig earned his fifth straight win to equal the longest win streak by a 'Blades goaltender this season.
Florida wraps up its third consecutive three-in-three weekend with the finale of the two-game set against Greenville on Saturday night at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Faceoff is slated for 7 p.m.
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!
Private Arena Tours are also available to select your 2018-19 season seats! Call the Everblades office at 239-948-7825 to schedule your tour today!
• Discuss this story on the ECHL message board...
ECHL Stories from December 28, 2018
- Steelheads Roll Through Rush with 9-1 Win - Idaho Steelheads
- Solar Bears Blanked by IceMen in 5-0 Decision - Orlando Solar Bears
- Fuel Dispatch First-Place Cyclones for Third Straight Victory - Indy Fuel
- Gardiner's Hat Trick Propels K-Wings Past Nailers - Kalamazoo Wings
- Mavs' Comeback Falls Short in Tulsa - Kansas City Mavericks
- Swamp Rabbits' Comeback Spoiled by 'Blades - Greenville Swamp Rabbits
- Railers Grab a Point in Physical 3-2 Shootout Road Loss in Portland - Worcester Railers HC
- Wings Escape with Late Win, Despite Wheeling Comeback - Wheeling Nailers
- Oilers Snap Skid on Military Appreciation Night - Tulsa Oilers
- Cyclones Point Streak Snapped in Road Loss - Cincinnati Cyclones
- Wild Win-Iecki: Everblades Hold off Swamp Rabbits for Shootout Victory - Florida Everblades
- IceMen Shutout Bears in 5-0 Rout - Jacksonville IceMen
- McNicholas Leads Mariners to Comeback Win over Worcester - Maine Mariners
- Klima's Last Minute Strike Pushes Norfolk Past Rays - South Carolina Stingrays
- Thunder Fly Past Monarchs by 4-2 Final - Adirondack Thunder
- Monarchs Drop Fourth Straight Game in 4-2 Loss to Thunder - Manchester Monarchs
- Admirals Sting Rays as Norfolk Snaps Winless Streak - Norfolk Admirals
- Royals Overwhelm Growlers 4-1 - Newfoundland Growlers
- Royals Corral First-Place Growlers, 4-1 - Reading Royals
- ECHL Transactions - December 28 - ECHL
- Americans and Grizzlies Game Tonight Is Cancelled Due to Travel Issues - Allen Americans
- Grizzlies December 28th Game Rescheduled - Utah Grizzlies
- Josh Anderson Added to Grizzlies Roster - Utah Grizzlies
- Guillaume Naud Added to Fuel Blue Line - Indy Fuel
- Solar Bears Make Adjustment to Promotional Schedule - Orlando Solar Bears
- Gladiators Acquire Rookie Forward from Wichita - Atlanta Gladiators
- ECHL Announces Fines, Suspensions - ECHL
- Cyclones Game Preview: vs. Indy - Cincinnati Cyclones
- Game Preview: Solar Bears at IceMen - Orlando Solar Bears
- Growlers Sign Brad Barone - Newfoundland Growlers
- Nailers at Wings Game Day Snap Shot, December 28 - Wheeling Nailers
- Milwaukee Admirals Sign Desmond Bergin to PTO - Adirondack Thunder
- Nastasiuk, Sheppard Recalled by AHL's Charlotte Checkers - Florida Everblades
- Penguins Recall Kevin Spinozzi - Wheeling Nailers
- OurSports Central's Plays of the Year - OSC Original by Fran Stuchbury
- Game Day: Nailers Come to Town for Middle of Three-In-Three - Kalamazoo Wings
- LaCouvee Loaned to Laval - Maine Mariners
- Game Day: Royals End Break, Host 1st-Place Growlers - Reading Royals
- Tammela Tricks IceMen in 4-3 Solar Bears Win - Orlando Solar Bears
- Quick Start Propels 'Blades to 5-2 Win over Atlanta - Florida Everblades
- Cuddemi, Skinner Pushes Wichita Past Tulsa - Wichita Thunder
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.
Other Recent Florida Everblades Stories
- Everblades to Face Orlando in South Division Finals
- Electric Second: 'Blades Close out Series with 5-1 Win over Jacksonville
- Preview: Everblades Host IceMen on Cusp of Series Win
- Big Ben: Masella's Four-Point Game Lifts 'Blades over IceMen in Game 5
- Berdin Stymies Everblades in Jacksonville's Game 4 Win