ECHL Game Recap: Savannah Ghost Pirates vs Florida Everblades | 3/22/2024

Christina Slemp/InsideTheRink

Savannah had its second of three meetings this week with the Florida Everblades. Savannah is currently 61-24-31, and Florida is 61-33-19. This is the ninth meeting between these two teams. The Everblades are leading the season series 6-3. In the last game against the Everblades, emotions ran hot, leading to one fight, a bunch of pushing and shoving, and some blatant hooking and tripping. This game was similar. 

Florida sees Craig Needham making his Professional debut, Josh Ho-Sang returning from the KHL to a North American League, and Savannah Coaching Staff Eddie Fritz will serve as emergency backup goalie. Fritz can only play if Jordan Papirny gets injured. 

Savannah’s healthy scratches for the game are Keltie Jeri-Leon and Griffin Loughran. Out for health/leave: Michael Bullion and Alex Swetlikoff are out with injuries, Jesper Vikman is still out due to illness, Nolan Valleau is out for personal reasons, and Joe Fleming is still assigned to Henderson Silver Knights. 

Photo credit: Florida Everblades Team page

In the first period, Savannah’s Jordan Papirny saw his first save when Jordan Sambrook made a shot on goal 4:53 in. At 6:37, Savannah Pat Guay got the first penalty of the night for Tripping. We saw Ross Amour get hooked, but no call was made, raising tensions. Guay comes out, putting Savannah one-for-one on the PK. With some great back and forth between both teams, we saw Rookie Nolan Welsh have a couple of outstanding poke checks. Then Savannah saw another Tripping penalty with Brandon Estes in Savannah’s D zone. Captain Matthew Boudens was unhappy, pointing out to the referee that they missed the clear hooking on Amour, causing Floridas Cam Darcy to chirp and stick arm Boudens openly on the next play. Florida scored the game’s first goal at 9:59 when Logan Lambdin put the puck in the back of the net. Savannah saw another penalty, with Matt Boudens for high-sticking Floridas Sean Josling receiving a four-minute penalty, causing a double minor. 

We closed out the first period with Floridas Cam Darcy going after Logan Drevitch, starting behind Florida’s goal and continuing to mid-ice, where Darcy grabbed onto Drevitch and ended up with a Roughing penalty and put Savannah on their first Power play; Savannah was 0-4 on Wednesday for Power Plays. Closing out the period, Jordan Papirny had 12 saves, and Cam Johnson had 10. 

We start the second period on a Savannah Power play, with Savannah trailing 1-0. During the first period, it felt like if Savannah breathed on Florida, they would be penalized, gathering eight penalty minutes to Florida’s two when they should have received another, bringing them to four total. In the second period, penalties were different, with neither team receiving one. Both teams had excellent defense work, bringing us low shots on goal for each, with Savannah squeezing out two more than the first period. At 5:41, we saw a second goal by Florida, this time by Bobo Carpenter, bringing the game to 2-0 Florida. Logan Lambdin then had a breakaway at 6:21 and scored for Florida’s third goal. The rest of the period was a hard-fought battle back and forth between nets. At 3.3 seconds left in the second period, Simon Pinard gets into traffic at the net, and we have to go to a replay to see if the puck ended up across the line along with Cam Johnson. With review by the refs, we have no goal and head into the second intermission 3-0, and once again, Floridas Cam Darcy has to be separated from the Pirates line. 

We head into the third period, looking to make a comeback. Florida’s plays are a definite indication of the team’s quality. As it is almost ten minutes in, we still have no goals, and Savannah has only four shots on goal. Savannah sees a near goal when Noah Long makes a shot that goes in but is called back due to Cam Johnson looking down and shaking his head while moving across the crease, causing him to lose his helmet before the puck crosses the line, making it a dead play. Then we see Jordan Kaplan battling Evan Nause in the Florida D zone, taking Nause to the ice and earning a penalty. With some back talk to the refs about the altercation, we see him take a two-minute for Holding earring Savannah their fourth penalty of the game, but the first of the third period. At 14:31, Savannah pulls goalie Jordan Papirny to have an extra linesman on the ice, resulting in an empty net goal for Florida, bringing the game to 4-0. With Jordan Papirny back in the net, Savannah saw rookie T.J. Lloyd get a high stick, when not even five seconds prior, we saw Logan Drevitch get grabbed and bearhugged by Floridas Chris Ordoobadi in front of Savannah’s bench, with no penalty call made. Savannah heads to their sixth Penalty Kill and Closes the game with a loss against Florida. Jordan Papirny ends the game with 27 saves, and Cam Johnson with a shutout, his third of the season at 33 saves.

Savannah Ghost Pirates Fb

An honorable mention is that Josh Ho-sang, who was the New York Islanders‘ first draft pick in 2016, recently released a rap album with a song about NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs Forward Auston Matthews called Papi for MVP. Not many professional sports athletes have done this, and I’ve only found five previous players with their own albums. Jim Schoenfield, Buffalo Sabres; Darren McCarty, Detroit Red Wings; Ken Baumgartner, Boston Bruins; Theo Fleury, Calgary Flames; and Guy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens

With this loss, Savannah’s record is 61-24-31-5, Florida’s 61-33-19-7. Savannah plays Florida for the final game of this series on Saturday and for the season on April 6th. Savannah is ranked 14th in the conference and not looking at a postseason playoff, while Florida is fifth and in playoff contention. 

Savannah Ghost Pirates’ AHL and NHL affiliates

Stephanie DeLaFleur

I am a mother of two who is just enjoying some of the best hockey of her life. I was raised in Vegas and currently live in South Carolina. I write mainly about the Savannah Ghost Pirates, but also about The Vegas Golden Knights and Henderson Silver Knights.

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