Winning their sixth straight playoff home game, the Florida Everblades defeated the Kalamazoo Wings 7-0 Wednesday night in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals and now lead the best-of-seven series two games to one.
Creating a turnover in the neutral zone, Florida leaped ahead midway in the period with a tally from Mathieu Roy (3rd). Stealing the puck at the blue line, Roy slipped around the defense and beat Riley Gill on a back hand.
Putting the game out of reach in the second period, Florida exploded for five goals in the second period. Brayden Irwin (3rd) set the tone for the Everblades scoring 20 seconds into the frame.
Striking 42 seconds later on their first power-play of the night, Sebastien Piche (2nd) ripped a right-circle slap shot 1:02 into the period.
Irwin (4th) notched his second goal of the night 4:36 into the stanza, which knocked Gill out of the game. Replaced by Maxime Clermont, Gill (8-4) stopped 10 of the 14 shots he faced in 24:36 he was between the pipes. Clermont would make 15 saves in relief.
Off of a face-off in the K-Wings zone, Florida upped their lead to 5-0, when Justin Shugg (1st) batted in his own rebound 7:16 into the period.
The period’s scoring ended the same way it started, with a goal from Irwin (5th), who recorded his first postseason hat trick in his career.
Shugg (2nd) conclude the scoring in the third period by tacking on his second goal of the game on a power-play marker 16:58 into the period.
In his first appearance in this series, John Muse (5-1) stopped 28 shots for his first shutout of the playoffs.
Kalamazoo, who was shutout for the second time in his series, has been held without a goal in eight on the nine periods in the conference finals.
Kalamazoo and Florida will continue the Eastern Conference Finals with game four of the best-of-seven series on Thursday, May 3rd with a 7:30 p.m. encounter from the Germain Arena.
If necessary, the K-Wings and Everblades will return to Wings Stadium on Tuesday, May 8th for a 7 p.m. face-off in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals. During all third round home games, the K-Wings are offering special Fan Appreciation 25-cent hot dogs.
Tickets for the K-Wings round three playoff games are $16.05 and $19.95 for adults, $15.05 for seniors (62 years and older) and military (with proper ID) and only $10.05 for kids ages 12 and under. Fans can save money by purchasing K-Wings single game tickets in advance because tickets purchased on the day of a game increase by $1.
Submitted by Mike Modugno