Game 21: Elmira Jackals (5-11-4-0) vs. Florida Everblades (14-3-1-2)
7:30 p.m., Germain Arena, Estero, Florida
The Jackals continue their three-game trip to Florida with the middle game of the series against the Everblades tonight at Germain Arena. It's the second 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 (5-3-0-2) to maintain first place in the South Division with 31 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 had their season-high five-game point streak (3-0-2-0) snapped with Wednesday's regulation loss to Florida, dropping to 5-11-4-0 on the season and 1-5-3-0 on the road. The Jackals wrap up the Florida trip tomorrow night, 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 Jackals squandered a 3-0 lead as the Florida Everblades scored five unanswered goals en route to a 7-4 decision Wednesday at Germain Arena.
The Jackals played an inspired first period, taking a 2-0 lead on the Everblades. First Vaclav Karabacek scored on a rebound at 7:15 to give the Jackals a 1-0 lead and then Kyle Rankin scored with 1:50 to go in the first to double the advantage. Elmira built a 3-0 lead 3:25 into the second on an unassisted goal by Sebastien Sylvestre before the game completely turned around.
The Everblades got on the board at 6:41 of the second period and Elmira couldn't stop the momentum the rest of the period. The Everblades would score three goals in less than three minutes to go ahead 4-3 at 16:45 of the second. Michael Kirkpatrick would net a third-period hat trick, including an empty-net goal as the Everblades pulled away with a 7-4 win.
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 14-3-1-2 on the season. With 31 points, they lead the South Division by five points over the Orlando Solar Bears and they have one game in hand on their state rival. At 7-0-1-2, 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 3-2-0-0 in five matches against the Jackals' divisional foes.
Offensively the Everblades are led by Michael Kirkpatrick, who has 22 points (7g, 15a) following a four-point game, including a hat trick, against the Jackals Wednesday night. Matt Berry (7g, 14a), and John McCarron (10g, 11a) are tied for second with 21 points and five players have at least 20 points.
In net, Anthony Peters has seen the majority of the action for Florida, appearing in 14 of their 20 games. He has a 10-3-0-1 record with a 3.16 goals-against average and an .884 save percentage. He also has the only shutout of the season for Florida.
Tonight is the second 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.
Wednesday night, Brendan O'Donnell and Matt Berry both had five points games (1g, 4a), which led the Everblades in their 7-4 win against the Jackals. Michael Kirkpatrick had four points, including a hat trick in the third period.
The teams played just twice last season, with Florida winning both games at Germain Arena, with one game being decided in a shootout.
Florida ranks 21st in the ECHL on the power play, going 9-for-67 (13.4%) with the man advantage through 20 games. They went 1-for-5 Wednesday against the Jackals.
The Jackals power play went 1-for-4 Wednesday, giving them power-play goals in four of the last five games, going 5-for-14 (35.7%). That moved them to 12-for-57 (21.1%) with the man advantage, ranking eighth in the league.
The Everblades penalty kill is 13th in the ECHL, allowing 10 power-play goals in 62 shorthanded situations, an 83.9% rate. Only three teams-Rapid City, Toledo and Cincinnati-have been shorthanded fewer times than the Everblades. At home, they are 29-for-32 (90.6%) after allowing one power-play goal Wednesday.
The Jackals penalty kill was 4-for-5 Wednesday, moving to 52-for-64 (81.3%) on the penalty kill, ranking 19th in the league this season. Away from First Arena, the Jackals are a shade under their overall percentage, stopping 25-of-31 opponent's power plays, an 80.6% rate.