ESTERO, FL – Arvin Atwal scored twice while John McCarron added four assists to lead the Florida Everblades to a 6-2 victory over the Jacksonville Icemen at Hertz Arena Friday night.
Jacksonville opened the game with a furious pace and outshot the Everblades 13-7 in the first period. However, the Icemen were not rewarded for their efforts as Florida seized two opportunities in the opening frame to assume a two-goal advantage.
The first came at 12:16 in the period, when Jack Nevins led a 2-on-1 rush into the zone. Jacksonville got back defensively to even the man power, but Nevins dropped the puck to the trailer Levko Koper in the slot. Koper made a deke move and slipped a backhand shot low past Icemen goaltender Adam Carlson for the goal.
Florida took advantage of a second opportunity on another odd-man rush. Koper skated into the zone and dropped a pass to Arvin Atwal at the right circle. Atwal stepped into a booming shot that ripped into the Jacksonville net to the give the Everblades a 2-0 edge with 30 seconds remaining in the period.
Jacksonville scored on the power play early in the second to pull within one. John Albert collected the puck in the corner and sent a pass across the ice to Bobby Lynch at the opposite circle. Lynch fielded the puck and snapped a shot high into the net past former Icemen goaltender Ken Appleby to put the score at 2-1.
Later in the period, each team was assessed a penalty to set up a 4-on-4 situation. Florida’s Logan Roe skated the puck through the right circle was knocked down by an Icemen defender to the seat of his pants. While sliding upright, Roe managed to slip the puck through the five-hole of Carlson to put the game at 3-1.
Less than a minute later, the Icemen countered, when Emerson Clark tipped and redirected Dajon Mingo’s point shot into the net to pull Jacksonville back within one at 3-2.
Florida grabbed the game’s momentum in the final three minutes of the middle frame scoring two goals just 22-second apart. Hugo Roy finished off a wrist shot, while Arvin Atwal netted his second of the night with a shot from the point to propel the Everblades to a 5-2 lead at the second break.
Florida carried the momentum into the third period and kept the Icemen off the scoreboard. The Everblades tacked on a power play marker from former Icemen Cam Maclise to put the game at its final of 6-2.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday at Hertz Arena beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Flexible ticket packages and discounted group tickets are on sale now. Contact 904-602-7825 for more information.