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Everblades hope to ice Growlers after Game 3 win

Posted at 6:28 AM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 06:28:47-04

ESTERO, Fla. — Eastern Conference Finals could end with a shut-out Friday night if the Everblades maintain their icing of the Newfoundland Growlers.

The 'Blades are coming off a 4-3 victory in Game Three Wednesday at Hertz Arena, putting a 3-nil advantage in the series to Florida.

It was the first game of the series where an Everblades goal was scored in the first period. After taking a drop pass from Stefan Leblanc, Alex Aleardi raced into the offensive zone and blistered a shot past Keith Petruzzelli 26 seconds into the game. Aleardi’s fourth strike of the postseason marked the second straight game that the Blades jumped out to a 1-0 lead.

Stefan Leblanc (12:44) added to the Blades’ advantage on a slapshot from the blue line after 14 seconds of a power play. Newfoundland cut the deficit in half to 2-1 courtesy of Orrin Centazzo at the 13:32 mark.

The Growlers tied 2-2 at the eight-minute mark of Period 2 with Jeremy McKenna’s power-play conversion. However, Chris McKay’s buzzer-beating slapper gave the Everblades a 3-2 edge with seven-tenths of a second remaining.

Florida continued their success on the man advantage when it mattered the most. Lukas Kaelble (8:21) buried one from the high slot for his first lamplighter of the season and his second in an Everblades uniform to make it 4-2.

After missing the first two games of the series, Newfoundland’s Zach O’Brien (13:58) made it a one-goal difference again as he backhanded the puck across Johnson’s crease.

Despite the Growlers using their timeout, the Everblades held off any remaining chances and hung on for the 4-3 win. The outcome extended the team’s win streak to eight games. Johnson advanced his playoff record to 10-0-1 after stopping 25 of 28 shots in the game.

Friday's action begins at 7:30 p.m.