In a battle of eastern and western conference elites, the Florida Everblades came out on the losing end in their sixth game of the year with the Colorado Eagles Friday night 4-1 at Germain Arena.
Colorado did most of its damage in the first period, taking advantage of Florida's early poor effort and turnovers.
The first goal came 6:50 into the contest when Trent Daavettila beat Blades net minder Trevor Cann (18 saves) with a backhander as he raced past the net. The opportunity was generated by a Florida turnover in the neutral zone.
It took almost 10 minutes, but the Eagles made it 2-0 after another Florida turnover led to an easy score as the teams headed into the first intermission.
Florida found some energy and sense of urgency for the second period. That energy, and the pressure it generated, netted two power-play opportunities and several scoring chances for the Everblades, only to see Colorado goalie Marc Cheverie (33 saves) turn them all away.
With a full period of play still in front of them, the experience of having overcome bigger leads than two goals, and the knowledge that their defense had held Colorado to just 16 shots in two periods, the Blades hit the ice for the third knowing they still could pull out the matchup with their smaller, but quicker opponent. A Colorado a power play opportunity 4:30 into the final period dashed those hopes, however, when just six seconds into it the Eagles cashed in to make it 3-0.
Overall, Blades coach Greg Poss wasn't happy with his teams effort.
"We aren't happy with our effort," said Poss. "We had too many passengers tonight. We had some guys get called up and it was an opportunity for some guys to step up tonight, but we had too many guys not doing their job tonight."
Colorado went on to add an empty netter with less than two minutes to play.
Florida's loan goal came with just over five minutes to play, when John Henrion scored his fourth of the season.
The Blades (13-8) and Eagles (12-7) meet at Germain Arena again Saturday night.