'Blades burst past Gladiators

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

ESTERO, Fla. — The Florida Everblades scored the final four goals of the game and beat the Gwinnett Gladiators 5-2 on Friday night at the Germain Arena.

Florida grabbed a 1-0 lead on the Gladiators 1:07 into the game, but the Gladiators answered with two straight goals.

Michael Forney tied it midway through the first period. He picked up a drop pass just inside the Everblades’ blue line and roofed the puck over the shoulder of Florida netminder Jaroslav Janus. Akim Aliu dropped the puck off for Forney after Cody Brookwell moved the it up ice to Aliu for the assists at 9:33 of the first.

Fifty-three seconds into the second, Andy Brandt found a rebound and beat Janus to put Gwinnett up 2-1. Dustin Cameron’s one-timer from the right circle off a feed from Forney clanked off the cross bar right to a wide-open Brandt.

But Florida scored three goals before the end of the second and took a 4-2 lead into the final period.

The Everblades locked up the win with another tally 5:38 into the third.

Gwinnett finished scoreless on three power-play chances and Florida went 1-for-7 on the man advantage.

Ed Pasquale made 30 saves as the Gladiators dropped to 22-23-2-5.