The Florida Everblades entered Wednesday night’s game one game down in the series and just finding out they wouldn’t have their top scorer and captain John McCarron in the lineup, as he was placed on reserve earlier in the day. In a five-game series, this was a crucial game for the Blades and they surely did not disappoint. That of course was until the third period. Let’s take a deeper look at what happened in a crazy game two from at Carolina Ice Palace.
Next Man Up For The Everblades
When a star player goes down with an injury, the famous phrase that is always uttered is “Next Man Up” and that’s what happened with the Florida Everblades in Game 2. Florida would get the important first goal four minutes into the first period, as Alex KIle would beat Hunter Shepard high put the Everblades up 1-0 and get them off to the races. It would take the team just under a minute to double that lead, as winger Levko Koper would pick up his second goal in two games. Despite being held to just three shots in the opening period, the Stingrays had a golden opportunity to get themselves back in the game with a five-on-three, which lasted the first minute and 49 seconds to start the middle frame, but would fail to find the back of the net. Florida would continue to ride that momentum, as Micheal Hunterbrinker would pounce on a breakaway and net the puck in past Shepard to take a commanding 3-0 lead. Zach Solow would continue his solid period by scoring in his first career Kelly Cup Playoff game at the 15:33 mark and then would add an assist on Hugo Roy’s power play goal, as he concluded the night with three points.
South Carolina Finds Life In the Third
The Stingrays had collected nine shots after two periods and would end up pulling Hunter Shepard, who let in five goals on 16 shots, in favor of rookie Jake Kupsky. For Kupsky, it was his first Kelly Cup Playoff game after winning an SPHL championship just a couple weeks prior. Less than a minute into the third, South Carolina would find the back up of the net, as Justin Florek would put the Stingrays on the board. Being the start of a comeback effort, Brent Suprinski would score three minutes later, and less than six minutes following that and goals from both Cole Ully and Tyler Janne, that would heighten things to make it a 5-4 game, with just over ten minutes left in the contest. While the fans at the Ice Palace were rocking, the comeback for the Stingrays fell short, as when the club opted for the extra attacker, South Carolina instead received a too many men penalty. That would sell off any hope that was remaining.
The Stingrays will now travel to Estero, FL and look to break up the tie, as the series shifts to Hertz Arena for the final three matchups. Starting on Saturday night, Game 3 is set to commence with puck drop scheduled for 7:05pmET. All ECHL playoff games are available via stream using FloSports online.