After a poor effort Friday, the Florida Everblades rebounded Saturday night, bringing more effort against the Colorado Eagles leading to a 4-2 win over their cross country foe in the Everblades annual Teddy Bear Toss game at Germain Arena.
Fans got to send the bears flying early, as the Everblades scored the first goal of the game only 6:51 into the contest with Kyle Bonis coming from behind the Eagles net to stuff the puck home for his 11th tally of the season.
With the Teddy Bear Toss out of the way, the Blades got back to business, locking down defensively on Colorado for the remainder of the period, limiting open looks at net minder Trevor Cann (28 saves).
The Everblade offense opened back up in the second period with a pair of goals.
The first came courtesy of Matthew Pistilli's 13th of the year, when while on a 3-on-2 rush, he sent a Trevor Bruess pass home for the 2-0 lead 4:34 into the second.
Florida's second goal of the period came in the final minute while on the penalty kill. Rocco Carzo found himself all alone in front of the Eagle net where Kellan Toshkins pass found his waiting stick, giving Florida a commanding 3-0 lead heading into the final frame.
"We were just a lot better in our 1-on-1 battles," said Blades coach Greg Poss. "Through the first 40 minutes of the game we limited them to only two scoring chances. The guys have to see that when they play good defense, and they limit a team's scoring chances, then you get more chances. But that's the kind of hockey we have to play (to keep winning)."
The third period opened with a flurry of goals in the opening minutes before Florida's defense regained control.
Everblades captain Mathieu Roy got the scoring started just 43 seconds in, scoring his ninth goal of the year after Florida won the opening faceoff. Colorado responded quickly, trying to get back into the contest by scoring two goals just 30 seconds apart, with both coming less than 90 seconds after Roy's goal made the score 4-0 for the Blades.
"We kind of let up after our fourth goal," said Poss of the few scary moments of the contest for the home team, "
Florida's defense finished off the game, improving their record to 14-6-1-1 as they hit the road for four games against North Division foes, before returning to Germain Arena Dec 20-21 for a pair of games against Greenville.