Going into Game Three tied up:
The South Carolina Stingrays and the Florida Everblades won a game in their first two games of round one in South Carolina. Clay Stevenson started in net for South Carolina, coming off his first-ever Kelly Cup Playoff shutout on Monday. For Florida, Cam Johnson already has a Kelly Cup Championship under his belt. The game finished breaking the series tie, giving Florida the series lead 2-1 as they won the game 4-3 in overtime. During the regular season, the Everblades had won seven out of the eight games they played the Stingrays.
First Period Frenzy: Tied
The game started with high intensity that would be carried throughout the rest. During this period, as well as the whole game, the two teams kept grasp of the fans’ attention every second of every minute. Florida’s Sean Josling scored the game’s first goal on a power play. Regular season point and goal leader Joe Pendenza and Captain Ben Masella got the assists. In their three playoff games this year, Pendenza now has three assists, and Josling has three goals. Chaz Reddekop tied the score with his first playoff goal with 5:41 remaining. He had missed the first game in the series due to a suspension. The period finished with both teams knotted at one, with shots on goal in favor of Florida 15-12.
Second Period Strength:
While the first period was intense, with the game tied after 20, the second was also very eventful, mainly for Florida. At 7:59 in the period, Joe Pendenza scored near the crease, surrounded by South Carolina players. Roughly 40 seconds later, Florida strikes the net again, this time with a shot from Levko Koper. Unfortunately, the Everblades could not keep their 3-1 lead for long as South Carolina’s Jarid Lukosevicius scored, assisted by Max Humitz and Michael Kim. The Everblades dominated this period in many ways: energy, goals, shots, physicality, and Cam Johnson owned all but one of the seven shots he faced. Their defense was also incredible, as they didn’t allow South Carolina to score on any of their three power plays.
Third Period Tension:
The final period wasn’t in favor of the Florida Everblades as the Stingrays were the only team to score as the Stingrays pulled the goalie for the extra attacker, as it paid off as Jarid Lukosevicius tied the game up with 20 seconds left in the third to send the game to overtime.
Florida Owns Overtime:
Not much occurred during the overtime period, except that Florida won within only five and a half minutes. Thanks to Logan Lambdin, the Everblades now lead the series 2-1. When asked about the game-winning goal, Lambdin said, “The D-man tried to step up on me as we chipped it out of his arm, and I ended up jamming it at his feet. He came off the puck, and it was loose behind him, and their other D-man was sitting back at the top of the circle. So, I ended up walking on him, using him as a screen, and fortunately enough, was able to beat the goalie on it.”
Last night, the Everblades broke the tie on their series with a great win. When asked about how big the first home playoff win this year was, Coach Brad Ralph said, “I thought our team played very well, certainly a great start. (We) might have sat back a little bit in the third period. It’s a little demoralizing when they scored to tie it, but proud of our group for the adversity fighting through it, and finding a way to win a critical game three.” He wasn’t wrong, as his team performed excellently last night, and they will need to fight that hard twice as much so that they can move on to round two.
The next game in the series is tomorrow at home at 7:30 P.M.