ECHL: Florida Everblades Win 2023 Kelly Cup

Estero- The Florida Everblades have won their second consecutive Kelly Cup Championship and became just the fifth team in ECHL history to win it in back-to-back seasons as they defeated the Idaho Steelheads in game four of the Kelly Cup Finals by a score of 4-3. Florida came out fast and were all over the Steelheads in the opening minutes. Sean Josling would get the Everblades on the board at the 16:11 mark on a break-away goal that beat Remi Poirer; Josling would pick up another break-away goal a little under three minutes later as Florida headed to the locker room with a two-goal lead. Down two goals, the Steelheads, with their season on the line, came out and responded by taking advantage of Everblade’s penalties. Ryan Dmowski would get the Steelheads on the board and then tie up the game on a five-on-three for the Steelheads, as those two goals came in a span of 2:31. After being outshot 14-1 halfway through the period, the Everblades would get a few chances, but neither team would find the net again in the second.

Idaho would jump out and score just 21 seconds into the third period to take the lead and quiet Hertz Arena. Another PP opportunity was awarded to Florida as Ryan Dmowski went off for high-sticking; the Everblades couldn’t take advantage, but Stephan Leblanc took a rocket of a shot from the point and would tie the game at the 4:19 mark of the third. It wouldn’t take long for the Everblades to take the lead as Tyler Irvine would put home a rebound at the 7:59 mark of the period to give the Everblades a lead they wouldn’t look back on and would win their second consecutive Kelly Cup.”It’s unimaginable; the fans are great; they are all my brother’s great guys on this team” said Tyler Ivine on winning the Kelly Cup

Armand Klisivitch/InsideTheRink

Cam Johnson, for the second consecutive season, would win the June.M. Kelly Award for Kelly Cup Playoff MVP and is the first ECHL player to accomplish that feat, “I’ve always wanted to be an Everblade, I call this place my home,” said Cam Johnson when asked about this year being his first full season after only playing 15 games for the Everblades last season and Head Coach Brad Ralph leading the Everblades to back to back championships, “We know we had great leadership; I think you have to continue to look at our leadership they did a great job of not letting excuses come into play with all the travel, and they were ready, and we played our best hockey, and that’s what you need to beat a team like this, great first period, crappy second period, great effort top to bottom and having all four lines scoring,” said Head Coach Brad Ralph. John McCarron, who came out of retirement to play the second half of the season with the Everblade,s said this about taking home the Kelly Cup, “Ya, I think we know what it takes to be a winner in the locker room, and we have some guys, who’d be our high character guys and who’s not, Craig Rush is one of the best GM’s in the league and that translates on the ice” said, John McCarron.

Armand Klisivitch

Armand Klisivitch. Senior Editor/ECHL Manager at Inside The Rink

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