ESTERO-The Florida Everblades have a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals after a 5-4 double-OT victory on Saturday Night. Newfoundland would get on the board early in the first on a tip-in from Brandon Kruse at the 2:09 mark of the opening frame. Both teams would exchange chances in the period, but it would be Tyler Irvine who’d take a shot from a weird angle that would beat Dryden McKay with less than a minute left in the opening frame; Irvine now has nine points in his last six Kelly Cup Playoff games, ” I think playing with Darcy and Koper, their really good with the puck and I’ve got some lucky shots in there” said Irvine on his success.” It would be the Florida native and ex-Everblade Zach Solow who’d be on display in the second period. Solow would get two goals in less than two minutes to give the Growlers a two-goal lead after a dominating second period which saw them outshoot the Everblades 13-5. “Ya, credit to them; they came out and played really well. Our guys kinda reset after the second and had a much better third, huge comeback win, not a spot we want to find ourselves in, but I gotta give my players all the credit, a big one, one from the heart,” said Head Coach Brad Ralph when asked about Saturday Night’s win.
Florida came out firing in the third and would get rewarded as Lepko Koper fed Oliver Chau, who’d find the back of the net on a delayed penalty to the Growlers. Todd Skriving got Newfoundland’s two-goal lead back at the 7:10 mark, which seemed to be the dagger in the Everblades, but that wouldn’t be the case as Chau would pick up his second goal of the night on a wrap-around to make it a one-goal game once again, “Ya, you know our locker room no matter the score we don’t quit that’s what’s great about our group, and I think we proved it tonight” said Chau. Logan Lambdin would feed Sean Josling for a one-timer with less than five minutes left to tie up the game, and that would be enough to send the game into OT. The Blades had a great chance to send the fans home happy in the first OT on a shot that rang off the cross-bar but wouldn’t go in, but the Everblades had a ton of momentum and would outshoot the Growlers 12-6 in the first OT period. For the second time in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, a game would need a second OT, and at the 6:08 mark and after three hours and 39 minutes, John McCarron would end the game as he got a lucky bounce and a wide-open net to shoot at as he capped off his three-point night, “It’s one of those fluke goals, I got a perfect pass backdoor with a wide-open net” said McCarron about his game-winning goal. Cam Johnson made 24 saves in the win.