DULUTH, Ga. - Brendan O'Donnell and Mitchell Heard each scored two goals and added an assist to help lead the Florida Everblades to a 7-4 victory over the rival Atlanta Gladiators Tuesday night.
The win builds the Blades lead in the ECHL's South Division back to 10 points. Florida ends the four-game road trip 2-2.
The Blades return home to kick off Guns and Hoses Weekend with the first of two games against Wawa Sunshine Cup rival Orlando Solar Bears on Friday.
Getting on the board in less than four minutes, the Everblades (40-20) took advantage of an offensive zone faceoff to jump out to a 1-0 lead. Heard sent the puck to O'Donnell to set a backhanded shot past the leg pad of Atlanta goaltender Matt Ginn.
Atlanta (23-36) took advantage of a turnover inside the Florida zone midway through the first period to tie the game 1-1.
Less than two minutes later, Florida reclaimed the lead as Logan Roe flipped a shot into the net.
Everblades Record: 40-20
Home: 21-9 Away: 19-11 Strk: W-2
Everblades 7, Gladiators 4
March 17 - vs. Orlando, 7:30 p.m.
March 18 - vs. Orlando, 7 p.m.
March 22 - at Kalamazoo, 7 p.m.
March 24 - at Toledo, 7:15 p.m.
March 25 - at Toledo, 7:15 p.m.
March 26 - at Fort Wayne, 5 p.m.
March 29 - vs. Kalamazoo, 7:30 p.m.
March 31 - vs. Kalamazoo, 7:30 p.m.
The Blades extended their lead to 3-1 on a solo effort by O'Donnell who muscled his way through defenders on his way to the net and a goal through the five-hole.
The Everblades extended the lead to 4-1 less than two minutes into the middle frame. O'Donnell sent the puck to Michael Kirkpatrick who skated to the right wing side and passed it to Heard for a goal.
Late in the second, Atlanta closed the gap to 4-2 score.
The Everblades responded and blunted any momentum the Gladiators may have had as Steven MacAulay scored in his fourth straight game to put Florida up 5-2.
Late in the third, McCarron was in the right place at the right time to score the sixth goal of the game for the Everblades.
Everglades goaltender Anthony earned the win by stopping 40 of the 44 shots he faced.