ESTERO, FLA. – Martin Ouellette etched his name in the history books Saturday night, earning the first shutout in the Kelly Cup Final since 2014 when the Alaska Aces defeated the Cincinnati Cyclones 4-0 with Gerald Coleman between the pipes.
Ouellette led the way, stopping 24 shots while helping secure the ‘Blades 5-0 victory over the Colorado Eagles to take the best-of-seven series lead 3-2. For Ouelette, it was his first shutout of the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
After a wild 7-6 overtime victory on Friday night, the ‘Blades needed to focus more on the game and not taking unnecessary penalties. They did just that.
“Our guys came in on a mission. We aren’t here for a good showing, our men want a championship,” said associate head coach Tad O’Had. “We are a group that thrives on emotion. We play an emotional brand of hockey. That’s been our game all year, with that said we must harness that emotion and channel it for the team’s greater good.”
Goals in the first came from Stephen MacAulay and Justin Kea before Michael Kirkpatrick scored a power-play goal on netminder Joe Cannata in the second.
Kirkpatrick earned a goal and notched an assist in his return to the lineup after taking a booming hit from Gabriel Verpaelst late in the third during game 1 of the series.
Steven Lorentz and Zack Kamrass both scored in the third. Each had help from Brett Bulmer who tallied three assists during the ‘Blades victory.
Goaltender Cannata played a full 60-minutes for the Eagles allowing five goals on the 26 attempts.
Goal of the Game:
Kirkpatrick’s power-play tally at the 7:39 mark of the second period, extending the ‘Blades lead to 3-0.
— ECHL (@ECHL) June 3, 2018
Highlight of the Game:
Carolina Hurricanes’ draft pick Steven Lorentz gave the ‘Blades to a 4-0 lead in the third.
4-0 ‘BLADES pic.twitter.com/4Nq46OteWH
— x-Florida Everblades (@FL_Everblades) June 3, 2018
Need To Know:
Mitchell Heard’s absence from the line-up was due to a head-butting penalty in game 4 where he was given a match penalty, an undisclosed fine, and one-game suspension.
Heard will be eligible to play in Wednesday’s game six.
Teams who have won game five in the Kelly Cup Final era, have gone on to win the championship 24 of 25 times. The Everblades will have two shots at winning their second title in franchise history; one Wednesday night in Loveland, the other (if necessary) next Saturday night in Estero.
The Kelly Cup Final shifts to Colorado, for the Eagles’ final home game in the ECHL on Wednesday night. Faceoff is set for 7:05 pm Mountain time/9:05 pm Eastern.
Kelly Cup Final Schedule:
Florida 3, Colorado 2
Friday, May 25: Colorado 3, Florida 1
Sunday, May 27: Florida 4, Colorado 3
Wednesday, May 30: Colorado 5, Florida 4
Friday, June 1: Florida 7, Colorado 6
Saturday, June 2: Florida 5, Colorado 0
Wednesday, June 6: Florida at Colorado, 9:05 p.m.
x – Saturday, June 9: Colorado at Florida, 7:00 p.m.
x – if necessary