ESTERO, Fla. – The Florida Everblades beat the Jacksonville Icemen 6-2 on Wednesday, becoming the first ECHL team this season to clinch a spot in the 2018 playoffs. This is the 19th time in the organization’s 20-year history that the ‘Blades are postseason-bound.
While making the playoffs is a team effort, three players’ contributions have stood out for the Everblades.
Martin Ouellette’s All-Star Season
Martin Ouellette was in net Wednesday for the victory – stopping 24 of the 26 shots faced against the Icemen – and Ouellette’s season has been nothing short of outstanding. This season, Ouellette has put up a 23-5-1-2-3 record with a .920 save percentage, named CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week twice and sent to represent Team South at this year’s ECHL All-Star game. Ouellette is also fifth overall on the ECHL’s goal against average with 2.11 and it’s clear pulling Ouellette from between the pipes will not be happening for the ‘Blades.
Stephen MacAulay’s 49 Points
Stephen MacAulay has 49 points so far this season. He’s notched 22 goals and 27 assists in his 52 games played and ranks 17th overall on the ECHL point-leaders list. MacAulay, 6’2″, 195 pounds, has recorded multi-point games in 12 of those appearances and it’s safe to say the ‘Blades can take solace that when MacAulay’s on the ice he’s putting in the work to get the job done.
Rookie Forward Joe Cox
Joe Cox can score, but more importantly, he’s been a key player in scoring big goals which shift the momentum of games into the Everblades’ favor. The Chelsea, Michigan native’s ability as a playmaker this season has more than made up for his production lull at the end of last. Cox currently ranks fourth overall for rookies on the ECHL point-leader list with 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) in 54 games.
The Florida Everblades will battle the Greenville Swamp Rabbits this coming weekend on home-ice looking to add to pad to their ECHL standings.