ECHL Game Recap:  Florida Everblades vs. Savannah Ghost Pirates | 01/13/2024

Photo by: James Slemp for Inside the Rink

ESTERO, Fla. – The Florida Everblades hosted their first Hispanic Heritage Night at Hertz Arena Saturday as they became “Los Tortugas” or “The Turtles”. 6,352 fans often cheered as the specialty jersey-clad Everblades defeated the visiting Savannah Ghost Pirates 4-0, winning their home portion of the five-game series against the Ghost Pirates.

Saturday night’s game was the last for the Everblades and the Ghost Pirates before the All-Star Classic break. The Everblades don’t play again until January 20th, when they travel to Savannah to resume their extended series against the Ghost Pirates. The Everblades’ All-Star representative Nathan Staios will lace his skates back up for the All-Star Classic on Monday, January 15th, at Enmarket Arena in Savannah. With an Everblades win Saturday night, they could move into fourth place in the South Division and build on some momentum going into the break and the back half of the season.

During the Coach’s Corner, Coach Ralph was pleased with his team’s performance Friday night. Still, he reiterated that the Ghost Pirates were a good, fast team that transition well and that the Everblades needed to maintain discipline, especially in the third period. He acknowledged the Everblades had difficulty winning weekend series, and winning Saturday night’s game was important. Jake Maurice identified his keys to the game as playing smart, communicating on and off the ice, and containing the breakouts. The Everblades had one change in the lineup as forward Kyle Neuber was inserted into the lineup for forward Charles Linglet. Defensemen Will Reilly and Stanislav Demin started the game as the top defensive pairing; they both had a +4 the night before. Coach Ralph continued his goalie rotation, starting Cam Johnson, who lost Wednesday night’s game against the Ghost Pirates 4-1. Michael Bullion got his second consecutive start for the Ghost Pirates, having lost the night before 5-3.

The Ghost Pirates carried the play in the first few minutes of the first period, but the Everblades scored first. Forward Joe Pendenza (9) redirected a shot by defenseman Cole Moberg into the top of the net. Ghost Pirates forward Jordan Kaplan took the first penalty of the night at 16:45 of the first period. The Everblades scored a power-play goal with one second left with the man advantage off a wrist shot through a screen by forward Sean Josling (9). The Everblades ended the period on the penalty kill when forward Andrew Fyten took a two-minute slashing penalty at 19:37; Sean Josling received a ten-minute misconduct penalty for his actions after the whistle. The Ghost Pirates couldn’t generate any offense in the last 23 seconds, and the period ended 2-0 Everblades. Both teams had eight shots on goal, and the Ghost Pirates would start the second period on the power play.

The Ghost Pirates started the second period on the power play but managed only three shots. The physical play continued as both teams weathered short-handed play. Ghost Pirates defensemen Adam Eby and Nolan Valleau both received penalties for tripping, and Everblades defenseman Cole Moberg sat two minutes for cross-checking. Joe Pendenza (10) scored his second goal of the night on a backhand off a turnover with 46 seconds left in the period, and the Everblades took a 3-0 lead to the locker room. Shots on goal for the period were close at 11 for the Everblades and 10 for the Ghost Pirates.

The Everblades played a more defensive scheme in the third period, generating just five shots on goal while limiting the Ghost Pirates to seven. The Everblades’ forecheckers contained the Ghost Pirates transition game and clogged the neutral zone. The Ghost Pirates could only generate one high-quality shot on goal in the first 15 minutes of the third period. Michael Bullion was pulled for an extra attacker at 17:36 but only managed two quality shots on goal before Everblades defenseman Will Reilly (2) scored his second goal of the season when he flipped the puck out of the defensive zone, and it bounced into the open net. The Everblades swarmed Cam Johnson as the buzzer sounded, congratulating him on his second shutout of the season. The 4-0 victory moved the Everblades into a tie for fourth with the Jacksonville Icemen, who lost 2-1 to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

Cam Johnson took the win and the First Star of the night for stopping all 25 shots faced. Michael Bullion recorded his second straight loss against the Everblades, with 20 saves on 23 shots for a .870 save percentage. Everblades forward Joe Pendenza received the Second Star for his two-goal performance, and forward Sean Josling, Third Star for his one goal and one assist night.

Game four will be on January 20th at Enmarket Arena in Savannah, Ga.

James Slemp

I write for and photograph the Florida Everblades for ITR. I am a retiree that has turned my hobby of photography into a business. I currently live in Sarasota, Florida with my wife, Christy, but I'm originally from California. My previous career has taken me all over the US and the world and I definitely enjoy traveling. I've played hockey for over 30 years, learning as an adult, and love the game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ECHL: Maine Mariners Make Roster Moves Prior To Game 2 Of North Division Semifinals

On April 20th, the Maine Mariners had two players called up to the Providence Bruins of the AHL. The first of these is forward Owen Pederson. He’s currently signed to a two-way, two-year contract with Providence. Pederson has played 54 games with the Mariners so far this season, putting up 13 goals and 12 assists […]

Read More

ECHL Central Division Semifinals Game 2 Recap: Toledo Walleye vs. Kalamazoo Wings | 04/20/2024

The Kalamazoo Wings played against the Toledo Walleye in Game 2 of the Central Division Semifinals on Saturday night. The game took place in a packed-out Huntington Center in downtown Toledo, Ohio, and the Wings were hoping to level the series at 1-1. The Wings had lost 3-2 in overtime in Game 1 on Friday […]

Read More

ECHL: Kansas City Mavericks on the Verge of a Sweep in Opening Round Of Kelly Cup Playoffs

Kansas City Mavericks and Tulsa Oilers met starting on the 17th for their first-round series in the Kelly Cup playoffs. The Mavericks are favored to win the series. They have had a solid season, landing them at the league’s top. They finished the regular season at 54-12-4 and won the Branham Cup. But winning the […]

Read More