Game 20: Elmira Jackals (5-10-4-0) vs. Florida Everblades (13-3-1-2)
7:30 p.m., Germain Arena, Estero, Florida
The Jackals head to Florida to continue a six-game road trip with the first of three straight games against the Florida Everblades tonight at Germain Arena. It's the first of five head-to-head matches between the teams in 2016-17, which will feature two matches at First Arena later in the season.
Florida enters with points in seven of their last 10 games (5-2-3-0) to maintain first place in the South Division with 29 points. They opened the season with points in the first 13 games (10-0-1-2) before they lost for the first time in regulation Nov. 22.
The Jackals are on a season-high five-game point streak (3-0-2-0), but lost twice in overtime after holding leads in the third period of both games. The Jackals face the Everblades again Friday and Saturday, then travel to Manchester for two against the Monarchs next weekend.
Jackals Pregame at 7:15 p.m. Radio: 1410 WELM; TV: WETM-2
Last time out
The picked up a standings point for the fifth straight game, but saw a third-period lead slip away in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Brampton Beast Dec. 4 at Powerade Centre in Brampton.
The Jackals took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Sebastien Sylvestre scored a shorthanded goal at 12:06, stealing the puck in the neutral zone and snapping home a shot on a 2-on-1 rush. Just 21 seconds later, on the same power play, Scott Jacklin tied the game for the Beast on a rebound for a power-play goal. At 16:24 of the first period Matt Lane put Elmira back in front with his first pro goal, giving the Jackals a 2-1 lead, which carried into the third period.
Brampton tied the game in the final period with 8:09 to play, when Jacklin scored a shorthanded goal just moments after the Jackals had won the opening faceoff to begin their man advantage. That tied the game and sent it to overtime, where the Beast won it on a David Vallorani goal on a 2-on-1 rush 59 seconds into the 3-on-3 period.
Player of the Week
Jackals forward Vaclav Karabacek was named Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week for Nov. 21-27. The rookie collected six points (3g, 3a) and was a +5 rating in three games last week for Elmira as the Jackals extended their point streak to five games (3-0-2-0).
The Buffalo Sabres second-round pick (49th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Karabacek scored his first pro goal Nov. 30 vs. Kalamazoo. Then he led the Jackals to a 7-4 win over the K-Wings Dec. 2 with four points (2g, 2a). The 20-year-old has eight points (3g, 5a) in six games with the Jackals since being reassigned from the AHL's Rochester Americans Nov. 25.
Scouting the Everblades
The Everblades enter tonight's match with five wins in their last 10 games, moving to 13-3-1-2 on the season. With 29 points, they lead the South Division by three points over the Orlando Solar Bears and they have one game in hand on their state rival. At 6-0-1-2, they are the only team without a regulation loss on home ice this season.
The Everblades have just three regulation losses in 2016-17, but two have come against the North Division. Florida is 2-2-0-0 in four matches against the Jackals' divisional foes.
Offensively the Everblades are led by Matt Berry's 21 points (7g, 14a), followed by John McCarron's 20 points (10g, 10a). Berry is tied for the team lead with 14 assits and McCarron has a team-high three power-play goals. Brendan O'Donnell is fourth with 15 points (9g, 6a), but his nine goals and three game-winning goals lead the Everblades.
In net, Anthony Peters has seen the majority of the action for Florida, appearing in 13 of their 19 games. He has a 9-3-0-1 record with a 3.10 goals-against average and an .888 save percentage. He also has the only shutout of the season for Florida.
Tonight is the first of five matches between the Everblades and Jackals in 2016-17. They play three this week in Florida and then the Everblades make a trip to Elmira in late February for two games.
The teams played just twice last season, with Florida winning both games at Germain Arena, with one game being decided in a shootout.
In goal, Anthony Peters started both games against the Jackals and allowed just three goals, giving him a 1.44 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage. Brant Harris was the leading scorer in the series, notching four points (1g, 3a) and a +5 rating in two games.
Florida ranks 19th in the ECHL on the power play, going 8-for-62 (12.9%) with the man advantage through 19 games.
The Jackals power play went 0-for-2 Sunday in Brampton, snapping a stretch in which they had power-play goals in three straight games, going 4-for-8 (50.0%). That moved them to 11-for-53 (20.8%) with the man advantage, ranking eighth in the league. They have allowed shorthanded goals in back-to-back games.
The Everblades penalty kill is 11th in the ECHL, allowing just nine power-play goals in 49 shorthanded situations, an 84.5% rate. Only three teams-Rapid City, Toledo and Cincinnati-have been shorthanded fewer times than the Everblades. Florida has scored three shorthanded goals this season.
The Jackals penalty kill was 4-for-5 Sunday, but they also scored their second shorthanded goal of the season. Overall they are now 48-for-59 (81.4%) on the penalty kill, ranking 19th in the league.