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Blades Fall 3-2 to Atlanta in OT

Posted at 6:14 AM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 06:14:14-05

The following is a recap of the Jan 2. game as provided to Fox 4 by the Everblades press office.

Captain Everblade John McCarron converted the game-tying goal for the Florida Everblades with 1.1 seconds remaining in regulation, but Atlanta’s Derek Nesbitt scored the game-winner at 2:12 of overtime to lift the Gladiators to a 3-2 overtime victory Sunday afternoon at Gas South Arena.

While the Everblades could not secure the series sweep, the good guys did take five of a possible six points in the three-in-three set in Georgia. The overtime setback dropped the Everblades to 16-8-3-3 overall, while Atlanta improved to 13-13-2-1. The Blades remain undefeated in regulation time away from Hertz Arena, as their road record moves to 12-0-3-1. With the game going to the extra period, the Everblades’ road unbeaten streak has reached 16 games, dating back to last season.

Atlanta got on the board first, as Cody Sylvester picked up his team-leading 13th goal at 6:05 of the opening period, powering in a shot off a draw to the right of Everblades netminder Parker Gahagen. The 1-0 lead marked the Gladiators’ first lead of the three-game series and remained intact into the first intermission, despite the Everblades claiming an 11-6 edge in shots on goal over the first 20 minutes.

The Gladiators doubled their lead at 15:09 of the second period, as Gabe Guertler converted a wraparound effort for his sixth goal of the season at the 15:09 mark. Atlanta posted an 11-9 edge in shots on goal in the middle frame.

In the third period, the Everblades broke through and trimmed the deficit to 2-1, as Joe Pendenza beat Atlanta goaltender Joe Murdaca for his 12th goal of the season, a shorthanded tally, from Alex Aleardi on a nifty 2-on-1 opportunity at the 10:59 mark. With just 1.1 seconds left in the contest -- while on a power-play opportunity and with an empty net -- the Blades got the equalizer they were looking for, as McCarron sent the game to overtime with help from Dylan Vander Esch and Jake Jaremko. The goal was McCarron’s 12th of the season.

The Everblades came away with a 28-27 advantage in shots on goal. Gahagen registered 24 saves for the Blades, while Joe Murdaca turned aside 26 shots for the Gladiators.

Following the series win in the Peach State, the Everblades will return to Southwest Florida for their first look at the South Carolina Stingrays on Friday, January 7 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, January 8 at 7:00 pm. Plenty of great promotions are on tap both nights, including a great 239 ticket package, Hertz Corporation Night and Faith and Family Night on Friday. Additionally, another great pregame tailgate party and Canadian Night, presented by TD Bank are on tap Saturday.