With 62 points and sitting in a tie for 8th place in the Eastern Conference of the ECHL, the Florida Everblades entered Tues-day night's meeting with the Orlando Solar Bears needing every point they can muster over their last 18 games of the season if they want to extend they playoff streak to 16 consecutive seasons.
For most of Tuesday night, it looked like the Blades wouldn't be able to scratch a point in the standings; a 3rd period goal Phillip Michael Devos would guarantee a point, but not the win, as the Everblades dropped the match in overtime 4-3.
The Blades would find themselves in a familiar situation on home ice, down 2-0 with less than half of the opening period played, before A.J. Jenk's 13th marker of the season got the Blades on the board.
The Everblades would find themselves down 2 goals again, just minutes into the 2nd period, after Solar Bear Jacob Cepis would follow up his 2 first period goals, with his 3rd of the night against Ever-blades goaltender Trevor Cann.
Less than 2 minutes later, Carl Nielsen made it a 1 goal game again after putting home a Mike Cornell feed for his 4th goal of the season.
With Devos's goal forcing overtime, a penalty would cost the Blades the contest in overtime, but insure at least a point in the overall standings for Florida.
"I think if we play that game 10 times, we win it 9 out of those 10," said Coach Greg Poss afterwards. "We had 16 scoring chances to their 7; we out shot them by more than double But we can't get down 2 goals at home like that, and we have to win our one on one battles-both of those first 2 goals happened because we lost the one on one battles, and that can't happen. Sure, getting the point is good-every point is important this time of the year-but we really have to learn to win our one on one battles to win consistently."
The Everblades (28-20-3-4) stay home this weekend for a pair of games against the Gwinnet Gladiators.