ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades (11-5-4-0) scored three times in the second period and held off the South Carolina Stingrays (11-10-0-0) in the third to take the rubber game of a 3-game set between the two South Division opponents by a score of 4-2 at Hertz Arena on Saturday night.
Rays forward Andrew Cherniwchan scored twice for South Carolina in the contest, while four different skaters added assists. Goaltender Parker Milner started the game and made 24 saves before being replaced by Gordon Defiel in the third period, who stopped all six shots that came his way.
The opening period saw just one goal and it came from Florida’s Steven Lorentz at 10:34 to give the Everblades a 1-0 advantage after the first 20 minutes.
Nathan Perkovich pushed the Florida lead to 2-0 just 33 seconds into the second period and John McCarron made it a 3-0 game in favor of the Everblades at 12:00.
Cherniwchan got the offense started for South Carolina late in the frame, scoring his seventh tally of the season at 17:33 with a sweeping wrist shot from the front of the net with assists by forwards Jonathan Charbonneau and Tad Kozun.
But Lorentz notched his second of the game in the final minute of the period during a delayed penalty that was coming to South Carolina. In what became a 5-on-4 advantage for Florida after goaltender Jamie Phillips skated to the bench in favor of an extra attacker, Lorentz found the back of the net with just 34 seconds remaining in the second period and made it 4-1 Everblades.
With the Stingrays on a power play to start the third period after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to Florida’s Ben Masella, Cherniwchan fired a slap shot from the top of the right circle that found its way to the top left corner of the net for his eighth of the year 18 seconds into the final stanza. Assists on the goal were given to defender Tim Davison as well as forward Shane Eiserman and made the score 4-2 in favor of Florida.
South Carolina was unable to muster any more offense on the scoreboard for the remainder in the third, but out-shot Florida 9-6 in the last 20 minutes. The Everblades had the edge in shots on goal for the game, 34-31.
Cherniwchan’s second goal was the only power play strike on either side, with South Carolina finishing 1-for-2 on the man-advantage and Florida ending at 0-for-1. Phillips earned the win for the Blades, stopping 29 shots in the victory.