GAME PREVIEW: Jackals Go For Series Win Against Everblades

Game 54: Elmira Jackals (10-36-6-1) vs. Florida Everblades (35-11-2-3)

7:05 p.m., First Arena, Elmira, New York

The Jackals play the final game of their sixth consecutive three-in-three, hosting the Florida Everblades tonight at First Arena as part of the Battle of the Badges. It's the final game of the five game season series with both teams at two wins.

Florida is in the midst of a six-game road trip, holding a 2-2-0-0 record in the first four games. The Everblades have points in eight of their last 10 games, posting a 7-2-0-1 record to move to 35-11-2-3 on the season. They lead the South Division and are tops in the Eastern Conference, seven points ahead of Manchester for the top spot in the conference.

The Jackals snapped their 16-game winless streak (0-14-1-1) with a 3-1 win over Florida last night. They are now 10-36-6-1 on the season and have 27 points, which puts them in sixth place in the North Division and 13th place in the Eastern Conference.      

Broadcast Coverage

Jackals Pregame at 6:50 p.m. Radio: 1410 WELM

Follow us on twitter @JackalsHockey and use #JackalsHockey for live coverage.

TICKETS

Battle of the Badges

First Arena hosts the Battle of the Badges this afternoon before the Jackals and Everblades square off tonight. The on-ice rivalry between the Elmira Police Department and the Elmira Fire Department resumes at 4 p.m. as the teams play a full 60-minute, running clock game. 

Admission to the Battle of the Badges match is free, but donations to Elmira Police and Fire Departments are encouraged and will be accepted at the door. Fans can also purchase a Battle of the Badges ticket for the Jackals game, with a portion of the ticket going to the Elmira Police and Fire Departments. 

During the Jackals game, Elmira Animal Shelter will also be collecting donation items.

Last time out

Davis Vandane broke a 1-1 tie early in the third period and the Jackals defeated the Florida Everblades, 3-1, last night at First Arena.

The Jackals opened their first lead since Feb. 4 11:49 into the first period on Matt Lane's 10th goal of the season. He passed the puck to Brycen Martin at the left circle then got a return pass in the slot and snapped home the goal to put Elmira up 1-0. Florida tied the game late in the second period on a deflection goal by Dalton Smith at 16:09.

The Jackals broke the tie 6:26 into the third period. Charlie Mosey fed Vandane in the offensive zone. Vandane had a lot of room and fired a shot past Anthony Peters to give the Jackals a 2-1 lead. Kenton Miller sealed the win with an empty-net goal at 18:02, giving the Jackals a 3-1 victory.

Home and away

The Jackals have played more road games (31) and fewer home games (22) than every team in the ECHL. That means over the final 19 games of the season, the Jackals have 14 home games and five road games remaining on their schedule. 

In 22 home games, the Jackals are 7-13-2-0 and have a -14 goal differential, with 63 goals for and 77 goals against. Despite playing 9 fewer home games, the Jackals have scored 11 more goals on home ice.

The Jackals are winless in their last 11 road games, their longest drought of the season, falling to 3-23-4-1 away from First Arena. The winless over 11 games has tied the Indy Fuel for the longest winless streak on the road this season. In fact, the Jackals have lost eight straight road games on three separate occasions and have 52 goals for as opposed to 127 goals against in 31 road matches.

Looking for two


The Jackals are aiming for their second consecutive win over the Everblades on home ice, which would be just the second time all season the Jackals have won back-to-back games. The last time Elmira won two in a row came Nov. 26-27 when the Jackals topped Manchester on back-to-back nights at First Arena.

Head-to-head

Tonight is fifth and final meeting between the Jackals and Everblades this season. Florida won two of the three when the Jackals visited Germain Arena in early December, but the Jackals won the last one, handing the Everblades their first regulation home loss of the season. With last night's win, the Jackals have two straight wins against the Everblades and can win the season series against the conference-leading Everblades with a win tonight. Elmira is one of just three teams to hand Florida more than one regulation loss this season.

Brant Harris leads Florida in scoring with six points (1g, 5a) in the four games. For the Jackals, Davis Vandane leads the way with five points (1g, 4a), including the game-winning goal last night. He's followed by Matt Lane's four points (2g, 2a). 

In net, Anthony Peters has started two games against the Jackals, going 1-1-0 with a 3.00 goals-against average and an .885 save percentage. Andy Iles has started three games for the Jackals and is 2-1-0 with a 1.34 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage.


Scouting the Everblades

The Everblades lead the South Division and the Eastern Conference with 75 points at 35-11-2-3. Florida has a 12 point lead in the division on Greenville and Orlando and are seven points clear of Manchester for the conference's top record. They have points in eight of the last 10 games (7-2-0-1) and are in the midst of a six-game road trip, which concludes Sunday in Brampton.

Florida enters fifth in the league offensively with 3.73 goals-per game and fourth at 2.90 goals-against per game. Brant Harris is the top scorer for Florida with 61 points (24g, 37a) in 51 games, including five game-winning goals. Michael Kirkpatrick is next among active players with 48 points (17g, 31a) over 47 games.

Anthony Peters has seen the majority of the ice time in net for the Everblades, appearing in 38 games. He is 25-10-1-1 with a 3.00 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage.


Special teams

Despite their prowess offensively, the Everblades power play ranks 21st in the ECHL at 14.9%, going 29-for-194 with the man advantage. After last night's 0-for-5, Florida is 1-for-17 (5.9%) in the series against the Jackals.

The Jackals were 0-for-5 on the power play last night, moving to 26-for-178 (14.6%) on the season, ranking 22nd in the ECHL. They are also just 1-for-17 (5.9%) in the season series with the Everblades.

Florida's penalty kill ranks eighth in the ECHL by allowing 33 power-play goals in 208 shorthanded chances, an 84.1% penalty kill rate. The Everblades are second in the league with 13 shorthanded goals. 

The Jackals were a perfect 5-for-5 on the PK last night, jumping to 79.6% on the penalty kill this season, which is 24th in the ECHL. They are better at home, stopping 84.7% of opposition power plays, which ranks 10th in the league on home ice.