ECHL: Florida Everblades Lead Series 3:2 with a Newfoundland Growlers Game 5 Loss on Home Ice

It was another night filled with cheering for Newfoundland’s Luke Cavallin, the goalie who has almost singlehandedly held the Florida Everblades at bay in round three of the Eastern Conference Finals.

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A Growler’s overtime win in game four had fans pumped for another high-stakes win, but it wasn’t in the cards. To say the Growlers were outshot is an understatement, as the Everblades outshot the Growlers 42-26.

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The Everblades got on the board as Blake Winniecki on a rebound attempt after Pavel Gogolev started the game by getting one past Cam Johnson. Gogolev’s highly celebrated second goal just 38 seconds was enough to give the Growlers the lead through most of the period until the ‘Blades captain Ben Masella scored the team’s first goal of the series on the man-advantage as the game was knotted at two after 40.

There’s just no room for the Growlers to play like they’re used to, and Florida takes up space on the ice, and they make the shots. Florida would get the lead at the 12:49 mark of the third as John McCarron got a tip in front to give the Everblades the lead. Cam Darcy of the Everblades scored his first goal of the playoffs on an empty net, following  Joe Pemdemza’s lead in the last few moments of the third.

Some fans in the stands have commented, saying this is one series where true hockey fans long for that game seven. As much as fans would love to move on to focusing on facing the Idaho Steelheads, watching the skill and precision of Luke Cavallin has to be any sporting fan’s highlight of the playoffs. With save after save, Cavallin is staking a claim in hockey reel heaven for Newfoundland fans, and no question he’s part of the reason why the stands are filled these last few games. 

While Newfoundland’s Zach O’Brien is on the ice, he’s not his usual showman for various reasons, and it’s almost painful watching the highly skilled player come up empty-handed in front of the net. Zach Solow has often shown his frustration, and as much speed, skill, and passion as he brings to the game, it just hasn’t been enough. Anyone who has followed Pavel Gogolev knows how much he wants to score, and the fact that he was robbed of his hat trick in game five was heartbreaking. There just weren’t the shots that needed to be made to up the odds of scoring, and when Gogolev scored the game’s first goal unassisted, there was a sense that there would have to be more of the same to make a play for a win. 

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Newfoundland has been blessed to host Florida, as the level of hockey fans in the stands at home get to enjoy is literally off the charts. There are highs and lows, but at the end of each game, there’s a real feeling of witnessing some tremendous skilled hockey. 

There’s rough stuff on the go too, and O’Brien has been a target, but it’s been clear that the quest for a win tops all vendettas. Very few penalties mean a speedy game filled with edge-of-your-seat moments. Game six between Newfoundland and Florida happens this Tuesday night in Newfoundland.  

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