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Booth solid in goal as ‘Blades win

January 5, 2018
Special to The Breeze ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Goaltender Callum Booth turned aside 26 of 27 shots faced to help guide the Florida Everblades to a 4-1 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears Wednesday night at Germain Arena. Florida (23-5-1-2, 47 pts) now leads the Wawa Sunshine Cup Series ten points to three.

After a scoreless first period, it took just 5:30 into the second period for the Everblades to get on the board and take the lead. Justin Kea came into the zone on the left side, side stepped a hip check and sauced a pass right on the tape of Tyler Ganly who was ready for the one timer on the side of the net.

Booth showed his skill once again for the 'Blades at the midway point of the period, as the Solar Bears got a quick pass from behind the net to a man primed and ready for a shot in the slot, but the goalie was able to shoulder away the puck and pop it into his glove for the whistle to keep it a 1-0 game for Florida.

Mitchell Heard extended the Blades lead to 2-0 on the power play late in the period. Heard received a pass from John McCarron at the top of the right circle. Heard quickly cut back once past and defender and then quickly once more past a second defender, before labeling a shot top shelf blocker side of Cal Heeter for the tally.

The 'Blades ended the period on the Heard tally and took the game into the second intermission leading 2-0.

Florida scored just 11 seconds into the third period as Heeter tried to stick away a puck from a Stephen MacAulay shot, and Kirkpatrick stole the puck away and one-timed it into the back of the net with a force that knocked off the water bottle.

Things got feisty at the 5:18 of the period as Heard and the captain of the Solar Bears, Sean Zimmerman, got into it behind the play.?As the whistles blew to halt the play, Keegan Kanzig made his way down the ice along with the rest of the Blades and Kanzig took it upon himself to pull Zimmerman away, but then an all-out mayhem ensued with everyone grabbing a partner.

As the scuffle seemed to die down, Zimmerman took one last run at Heard, but he caught the worst of it, and Zimmerman and Heard were sent off with ten-minute misconducts as the energetic crowd announced at 6,181 roared.

The Everblades found themselves facing 24 seconds of a 5-3 at 9:35 of the period, but the 'Blades were able to kill off both penalties and add a goal on the tail end just as the second penalty expired. Joe Cox sped down the middle of the ice on a breakaway after stealing a pass. Cox made a few quick moves to send Heeter sprawling, and then tucked the puck into the back of the net to extend the Blades lead to 4-0.

The Blades found themselves on the opposite end of another 5-on-3 penalty kill with 4:51 remaining, However, this time, the Blades were unable to kill it off as Kristian Pospisil took a one-timer feed at the right side circle that beat Booth to spoil the shutout but for the rookie goaltender.

Despite the goal, Booth would end the game for the 'Blades by a score of 4-1 and stopping 26 of 27 shots to pick up his 10th win of the season. Heeter takes the loss allowing four goals on 27 shots.

Florida now hits the road for a three-game weekend set that begins at South Carolina on Friday at 7:05 p.m.

The Everblades return home again Friday, Jan. 12, vs. Jacksonville. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. for Faith & Family Night!



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