ESTERO, Fla. – The Florida Everblades earned the first victory of the Eastern Conference finals when they overtook the Adirondack Thunder 4-3 at Germain Arena Friday night in front of 4,049 fans. This is the first time the ‘Blades have made an appearance in the Conference finals in six years, and now lead the series 1-0.
“Overall, we were pleased by the teams ability to handle the adversity and remain strong under pressure,” said associate head coach Tad O’Had. “Adirondack is a strong team and matched us well early on. We were able to stay the course, kill off some penalties and make the most of our chances.”
The first 20 minutes of hockey was scoreless, before John McCarron broke the tie in the second where he claimed the first goal of the series that propelled both teams into scoring frenzy in the third. McCarron would light the lamp once more while Michael Kirkpatrick scored the additional two goals for the ‘Blades. Goaltender Martin Ouellette stopped 32 of the 35 shots faced against the Thunder.
“A true testament to this group is that every evening different players are elevating their game and rising to the occasion,” said O’Had. “Kirkpatrick, McCarron and Ouellette all responded to the challenge and took their games to another level.”
The third was also a goals blitz for the Thunder, seeing goals from Ryan Schmelzer, Troy Bourke and James Henry all on Ouellette. Henry’s goal was tallied at 19:54 into the third period, putting the Thunder within striking distance of overtime. The Thunder failed to break through Ouellette with six seconds remaining in regulation ending the Thunder’s chances of a victory.
Goal of the Game:
Kirkpatrick’s short-handed tally at the 13:09 mark in the third to take the ‘Blades lead to 3-2.
— Florida Everblades (@FL_Everblades) May 12, 2018
Highlight of the Game:
McCarron breaks the scoreless tie in the second period to lift the ‘Blades to a 1-0 lead.
What a move…what a finish!
— ECHL (@ECHL) May 12, 2018
Game 2 of the Everblades versus Thunder series starts tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Germain Arena.
Eastern Conference Final Schedule
Florida 1, Adirondack 0
Friday: Florida 4, Adirondack 3
Saturday: Adirondack at Florida, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Florida at Adirondack, 7 p.m.
Friday, May 18: Florida at Adirondack, 7 p.m.
x-Saturday, May 19: Florida at Adirondack, 7 p.m.
x-Monday, May 21: Adirondack at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
x-Wednesday, May 23: Adirondack at Florida, 7:30 p.m.