ELMIRA, N.Y. - December 11, 2013 - The Elmira Jackals used a smothering defense to limit the ECHL's top offense to two goals on Wednesday night at First Arena. They couldn't, however, produce enough offense of their own and fell 2-1 to the Florida Everblades which stopped their win streak at three. Elmira's record now stands at 7-11-2.
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Florida came into Wednesday's contest as the best road team in the ECHL with 10 wins in 13 tries, and showed why with a quick strike in the first to take a 1-0 lead. As the Jackals tried to exit the zone on the right wing, Trevor Bruess held his ground at the blue line and took the puck away. He cut to the slot and fired a slap shot that Kyle Bushee tried to block from one knee. The shot eluded Bushee, though, and also got past goalie Maxime Clermont just 6:37 into the contest. The goal was Bruess' third of the year. Elmira's offense responded emphatically with a power play goal 6:07 later to tie the game at one. Rookie Jakub Culek rushed into the Florida zone on the left wing and beat goalie Trevor Cann with a wrist shot high to the glove side. The goal was Culek's fourth of the year off assists by Troy Rutkowski and Danny New.
In the second Elmira used 10 shots to generate a number of quality chances against Cann, but were turned aside at every look. Florida benefited from the stout goaltending and some diligent work on the forecheck to retake the lead. Mathieu Roy and Matt Pistilli worked a cycle along the right wing corner and eventually Will MacDonald floated free in the slot. Roy fed the puck out and MacDonald snapped a one-timer past Clermont for his first goal as a professional. The Jackals had a golden chance to tie it late in the second on a 4-on-3 power play, but could not cash in.
The Jackals played one of their tidiest defensive periods of the year in the third and limited Florida to just four shots against Clermont, none of which got through. At the other end of the ice, though, Florida continually stacked defenders at the blue line and made it difficult for Elmira to enter the zone with speed. The Jackals were still able to generate six shots against Cann, but the former second-round draft pick shut the door.
Clermont was shouldered with the loss in a 21-save effort. Cann earned his second win of the season with 22 stops. Elmira ended the night 1-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return to home ice on Thursday, December 26 to take on the Reading Royals. You don't want to miss the world famous ZOOperstars! who will be performing live during the intermission! Don't forget that groups of 10 or more who book in advance receive discounts off the box office price and preferred seating based on availability. Call 607-734-7825 to get your group outing booked.