The Florida Everblades gained a measure of revenge Saturday night, winning a hard fought defensive battle 1-0 in the second of two weekend meetings with division rival South Carolina at Germain Arena.
After losing 2-1 the previous night, and without the services of team captain Mathieu Roy (upper body injury) and newly acquired three-time Stanley Cup winner Brian Rafalski, who left for California to attend to a family matter, the Everblades came into the contest with their backs against a wall in attempting to gain some ground in the standings on the Stingrays. For the first 20 minutes, the Everblades played like it.
At the opening puck drop Tyson Gimblett dropped the gloves with a Stingray, eventually leading to Gimblett hitting the showers for continuation after the refs tried to stop the brawl. The energy he generated lasted the Blades through the first period, and to the only goal of the night when Parker Stanfield took Mike Merrifield's pass.
From there it was a defensive battle, led by Blades net minder Trevor Cann, who earned his first shutout of the year by turning away all 29 shots he faced to preserve the much needed win for the Everblades.
"I felt good," said Cann. "Obviously (South Carolina) has a good goalie over there. I thought we played a lot better tonight. The team played well, it was a big win for us."
"It's not going to be pretty every night," said Blades coach Greg Poss. "The goal by Stanfield was a really nice play be all three guys involved. Five on five I was happy with the play defensively, but on the power play I thought we allowed too many chances to go the other way.
"(Trevor Cann) is a real high quality goalie, and there was a reason why he was drafted so high, but he is starting to get back on track and I think tonight showed that."
Florida (21-13) stays at home this week to get ready for a two-game weekend series with the Orlando Solar Bears January 17-18.