Jacksonville Sports Day

ECHL: Jacksonville Icemen Fall in Playoff Game Six 5-1 to Florida

FILE PHOTOS By NANCY BEECHER/Florida Sports Wire

The Florida Everblades defeated the Jacksonville Icemen 5-1 on Monday in Game 6 of their South Division Semifinals series at Hertz Arena to advance to the South Division Finals for the third consecutive season.

It took Florida less than two minutes to garner the game’s first goal. Kyle Platzer led a 2-on-1 rush out of his own zone and skated deep into the Icemen end.

Platzer steered the puck across the low slot to Blake Winiecki who then buried the puck behind goaltender Mikhail Berdin for the goal.

Moments later, the Icemen countered and evened the game at 4:18 when Kris Newbury delivered a perfect pass from behind the net to Maxime Fortier at the top of the crease.

Fortier immediately batted the puck past Florida netminder Callum Booth.

The Everblades reclaimed the lead at the 4:04 mark Jacksonville attempted to clear the puck out of the zone, but it was intercepted by John McCarron in the slot. McCarron sliced a backhanded shot past Berdin to pull Florida in front 2-1.

Florida made it 3-1 just 54 seconds later, when again the Icemen could not clear the puck out in front and Tommy Thompson poked the loose puck into the net from the top of the crease.

Alex Tonge added to the scoring barrage at 6:41 when he picked up the puck following an Icemen turnover at the circle and ripped the puck into the net for the fourth Florida goal.

Winiecki capped off the scoring sequence with his second goal of the contest when he cut to the slot and wristed a shot high into the corner of the net to put the Everblades in front 5-1.

Florida will meet Orlando, a 4 games to 1 winner over South Carolina, in the second round for the second consecutive year. The Everblades prevailed in five games last season on their way to reaching the Kelly Cup Finals.

SERIES NOTES: Winiecki led Florida in the series with five goals and shared the team lead with John McCarron (3g-5a) and Ben Masella (2g-6a) with eight points each….the Icemen were led by Maxime Fortier, who had four goals and seven points in the six games…. Florida has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs in 20 of its 21 seasons, winning the Kelly Cup in 2012 and reaching the
Kelly Cup Finals in 2004, 2005 and 2018…Everblades’ head coach Brad Ralph is 281-114-37 in the regular season and 39-31 in postseason….Icemen head coach Jason Christie, who won Kelly Cup as a player with Peoria in 2000, is ECHL’s all-time winningest coach with 609 career regular-season wins.

 

 

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