ECHL Game Recap: Savannah Ghost Pirates vs. Florida Everblades | 4/6/2024

Photo by: Christina Slemp for Inside the Rink

Savannah hosted the Florida Everblades for their tenth meeting of the season. At the time of the game, the Everblades were tied with the Orlando Solar Bears at 81 points. While the Ghost Pirates have been knocked out of playoff contention, they have been on an absolute killer streak and beat the Everblades 6-3 in their last meeting. The Blades lead the season series between the two teams 7-3-1. Savannah is looking to come out on top of this game. The previous meeting of these two teams in Florida ended with the teams escorted off the ice due to high tensions and the desire to beat the brakes off each other. 

Savannah has Rookie Forward Nick Granowicz in his second game, along with Defensemen Pito Walton and Ryan Nicholson. Nolan Welsh and Alex Swetlikoff are still out injured.

The Everblades scored the game’s first goal, with Josh Ho-Sang hitting the back of the net at 4:22. Savannah Captain Matt Boudins was hit from behind by Sean Josling and then at 9:14 in the period was called for Cross-Checking Josling when he went after him. During that playtime, we also saw an uncalled hit on Pito Walton, where he took an elbow to the head. Same Sean Josling scored Floridas’s second goal at 13:06.  At 17:55, Brandon Estes was called for Holding, and Savannah went on the Power Kill for the second time and ended it 1 for 2, with Will Reilly scoring Florida’s third goal. Savannah was 4 for 4 the previous game against South Carolina, which bumped the team to a PK% of 78.1%. The end of the period saw raised tensions between Logan Drevitch and Florida. Earlier in the period, we saw Josling and Drevitch get into a shoving match, and this time, it was Logan and Cole Moberg. In the net for Savannah was Michael Bullions, who is 4-0 for his last four appearances with a 2.88GAA and 0.905SV%. For Florida, we saw Cam Johnson in net, 3-1 for his last four appearances with a 2.24GAA and a 0.902SV%. Savannah finished the period with 12 shots on goal, while Florida had 11, with three resulting in goals.

Michael Bullion Savannah Ghost Pirates Picture by ECHL. com

Forty-seven seconds into the second period, Savannah caused a Florida turnover, and Brent Pedersen scored their first goal of the game, bringing Savannah within two. Florida answered that goal two minutes later with a goal by Mark Senden, taking Florida back to a three-goal lead. Savannah spent a lot of this back and forth with Florida, with Peter Tischke taking the first penalty of the period for Holding, sending Savannah back on the Power Kill—Florida’s Power play percentage of 18, which is only one point higher than Savannah. We saw Logan catch the following penalty when he was called for Tripping Florida’s Craig Needham after Logan had been boarded. At this point, Florida goes on their 3rd Power Play of the period, and Peter Tischke meets Josh Ho-Sang behind the net and gets physical, ending with a Roughing call, and Savannah goes down another man, leading to a 5v3. Savannah couldn’t kill the penalty, and we saw Florida’s Oliver Chau find the net, bringing the score to 5-1. 

This is where Savannah hits the level of done. Before the Chau goal, we saw Alex Gilmour take a puck to the ribs, causing him injury, yet the play continued. It wasn’t until after the goal that Gilmour was escorted to the bench, still clearly in pain. The game restarted, and we saw Goalie Michael Bullion get run into from behind by Bobo Carpenter. No call was made, leading to Joe Fleming and Carpenter having words. Carpenter turtles as Fleming voices his opinion on the shady hit. This turns into a kerfluffle when Boudens joins the fray along with Florida’s Todd Skirving. Cole Moberg grabs Peter Tischke and takes him against the boards to continue the skirmish between the teams. Once broken up, we finally have a call against Carpenter for roughing, not for the hit against Bullion, and Joe Fleming for Roughing. For the rest of the period, we saw a lot of passionate playing by both teams, with a couple of great hits from each team. At the end of the period, we saw Florida’s Mark Senden and Matt Boudens get into an altercation in the corner of the rink, resulting in a very upset Boudens escorted off the ice and Senden motioning like they had nothing to do with starting it. Savannah had eight shots on goal, and Florida had 11.

In the third period, they got underway in a 4v4, with a delayed penalty between Bouden and Senden at the end of the second. Savannah and Florida maintained their level of play during the first five minutes of the period. A holding penalty on Florida’s Cole Moberg put Savannah on their first Power Play. After the penalty was called, we saw a minor skirmish break out between the teams, but no penalties were called. During the Power Play, Brent Pedersen found the back of the net, bringing Savannah to 2 against Florida 5. The back and forth continued between the teams, each getting in a few uncalled penalties and maintaining the high emotions that followed these teams. Joe Fleming saw a Slashing at 10:12 in the game, sending Savannah to their seventh PK. In less than a minute, Simon Pinard gets a delay of game penalty, putting two more minutes on the power play for Florida and taking it to 5v3. Florida scored their 3rd Power Play goal of the night when Oliver Chau tipped the puck in. The final penalty call of the night was against Florida’s Isaac Nurse when he tripped Savannah’s Brandon Estes, putting Savannah on only their second Power Play of the night. The game ended with minor altercations but nothing, resulting in penalties. Savannah fell to Florida 6-2, and unlike their last meeting, both teams left the ice with no incident. 

Savannah is 11th in conference with 29-33-6. They play the Jacksonville Icemen on Friday, April 12th, in Jacksonville. Florida is 5th with 37-23-7, and they play the Jacksonville Icemen at home on Wednesday, April 10th. 

Savannah Ghost Pirates’ AHL and NHL affiliates

Stephanie DeLaFleur

Beat Writer covering the ECHL Savannah Ghost Pirates, NHL Vegas Golden Knights and AHL Henderson Silver Knights. Follow me on X @StephiDelafleur

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