Everblades sweep Sea Wolves, prepare for five-game road trip
After their 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Mississippi Sea Wolves on Saturday night at Germain Arena, the Florida Everblades capped off another two-win weekend. They also defeated Mississippi 3-0 Friday.
“We didn’t have a great first period,” said Coach Malcolm Cameron, “but once we got that (tying goal) in the second period, we got our confidence back. (Mississippi) played a very good game (Saturday night). (Mississippi) played a very good defensive game. They were keeping three sometimes four guys back on defense, and we need to win games like this.”
For much of Saturday’s contest, it looked like the Blades were fighting a constant uphill battle against multiple defenders.
For the Sea Wolves, who have yet to beat the Everblades this year, their strategy was obvious: slow the Everblades down and hope to get a couple of scoring chances on the Blades net-minder Anton Khudobin.
The strategy worked for the Sea Wolves through the first period, but once Mark Lee tied the contest on what Cameron likes to call “greasy goals,” the momentum shift was obvious and Florida took control.
“We have a lot of guys that can score goals,” said Cameron, “but that is our style of hockey, dumping the puck into the corners, being strong on the puck, shedding your defenders and hitting the open man on rebounds.”
This “greasy” style of hockey is what Cameron wants out of his team, and for both games this past weekend, the Blades skated to that standard.
“We are getting better every game,” said team veteran Earnie Hartlieb. “Guys are buying into the system and are realizing that every game isn’t going to be a run-and-gun style of play where we score five, six or more goals and the guys saw that (this weekend) in our wins over Mississippi.”
The timing couldn’t be better for Florida to master its strategies. They head out on a grueling road trip, which includes five games in six days.
“It’s going to be a tough trip for sure,” said Cameron. “It’s going to be a grind and the beginning of the trip will be huge in that we will need to focus on just those first couple of games of the trip.”
Following three consecutive away games against Charlotte (Tuesday), Gwinnett (Wednesday) and South Carolina (tonight), the Everblades return to Gwinnett on Jan. 17 and Charlotte on Jan. 18. Florida returns to Estero for a two-night homestand next weekend, hosting Gwinnett on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 23-24. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.