Red-hot Everblades maintain division lead
After missing the playoffs for the first time in team history last season, the Florida Everblades are determined to not have history repeat itself in 2014-15. The Everblades enter the week with a league-leading .848 winning percentage, and their 19-3-1 record for 39 points has them in first place of the East Division, two points ahead of Greenville.
Florida has won seven straight games, and is 13-1-0 in its last 14 games, recorded a pair of home wins against Gwinnett last week.
In the first game of the two-game series on Wednesday, Florida erased an early 2-0 deficit with five straight goals, and then held on for a 5-4 victory. Alex Lavoie led the way offensively with three points (1g-2a) and Daniel Altshuller picked up the win in net with 27 saves.
The Everblades again faced a 2-0 first-period deficit on Friday before reeling off four consecutive goals on their way to a 5-3 win. Mitch Wahl (1g-1a), Artem Sergeev (1g-1a) and Alex Aleardi (2a) all had two points in the victory while Andy Iles earned the win, stopping 23 shots.
Adam Brace leads Florida this season with 12 goals and 24 points, and he is one of 13 players who are in double digits in points. The Everblades have received a jolt of offense from the blue line as both Mike Little (2g-16a) and Matt Mangene (4g-13a) rank among the top 7 in defensemen scoring in the ECHL. Cameron Burt is tied for second among defensemen, and tied for fourth overall in the league, with a +19 plus-minus rating.
The Everblades also feature one of the top goaltenders in the league in Allen York, who just returned to the club after spending nearly a week with Syracuse of the American Hockey League. York, who is 12-1-0 in his last 13 starts, is tied for fifth in the league with a 2.23 goals-against average and he is tied for fourth with 12 wins.
Florida visits Orlando for a pair of games on Saturday and Sunday in the first two games of a six-game road trip. The road has been kind to the Everblades this season as they have posted a 10-2-0 record away from Germain Arena.