Kelly Cup Playoffs â€“ Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
No.3 Kalamazoo K-Wings 1 @ No.6 Florida Everblades 2
Florida leads best of five series 1-0
LW Alex Hutchings: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season Totals: 51 GP, 13-13-26, -9, 41 PIM
Playoff Totals: 1 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
The â€˜Blades received stellar goaltending from Bobby Goepfert to defeat Kalamazoo 2-1 and take Game 1 of their opening round playoff series with the K-Wings. Goepfert stopped 31 of 32 shots for First Star honors. Lightning prospect Alex Hutchings had an assist in his first professional playoff game. Game 2 is Wednesday in southwest Florida. Games 3-5 will be played in Michigan.
South Carolina Stingrays 2 @ Florida Everblades 1 (SO)
LW Alex Hutchings: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (slashing), 1 SOG
Season totals: 51 GP, 13-13-26, -9, 41 PIM
The â€˜Blades got at least a point out of their final game of the season, but with Wheeling getting a win and South Carolina getting both points, Florida fell back to sixth in the East. They will face No.3 Kalamazoo in the playoffs starting on Tuesday. The â€˜Blades were in fourth after the first game of their three game series with South Carolina this week. Hutchings finished his first pro regular season with 13 goals and 26 points. Itâ€™s a little disappointing considering he was a 47 goal scorer for Barrie of the OHL last year and had over 80 points. Not everyone can make a smooth transition to the pro game, but Hutchingsâ€™ hockey sense and speed were thought to be enough to make more of an impact at the ECHL level.
South Carolina Stingrays 5 @ Florida Everblades 4
LW Alex Hutchings: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (cross-checking), 0 SOG
Season totals: 49 GP, 13-13-28, -9, 37 PIM
One game after the â€˜Blades pulled ahead of South Carolina and Wheeling for fourth in the East, they fell behind again with a loss Friday to the Stingrays. Florida was down 2-0 and 5-2 in the game before mounting a comeback that fell short. They pulled within one goal with just under five minutes to go, but couldnâ€™t get the equalizer. The â€˜Blades are tied with the Stingrays for fifth at the moment, one point behind fourth place Wheeling. Florida has one more victory than South Carolina. All have one game left. South Carolina and Florida will play the final game of their regular seasons Saturday against each other in the Sunshine State. Goaltender Jaroslav Janus was recalled to AHL Norfolk Thursday.
South Carolina Stingrays 1 @ Florida Everblades 4
LW Alex Hutchings: 1-0-1, +1, 4 PIM (spearing attempt), 4 SOG
Season totals: 48 GP, 13-13-26, -9, 37 PIM
G Jaroslav Janus: Did not play (backup)
Season totals: 27 GP, 12-13-0-0, 3.06 GAA, .912 sv%, 0 SO
The â€˜Blades pulled ahead of South Carolina and Wheeling for fourth in the East after beating the Stingrays 4-1 in the first game of a three game set to finish the regular season. Itâ€™s possible these teams could play 10 games in a row as they could be meeting each other in the first round of the playoffs. South Carolina is currently in sixth, but just two points behind Florida and one behind Wheeling. All have played 70 games. Alex Hutchings scored his 13th goal of the season then ignited a brawl of sorts after the play by attempting to spear an opponent. Jarsolav Janus sat backup to Mike Zacharias (34/35) in his latest return to the ECHL from Norfolk.
The Norfolk Admirals have signed goaltender Pat Nagle to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO), Admirals General Manager Julien BriseBois announced today. In addition, the Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Admirals, have reassigned goaltender Jaroslav Janus (YAHR-oh-slahv YAHN-ihs) from the Admirals to the ECHLâ€™s Florida Everblades, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Nagle, 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning last week. He played in 37 games with the Ferris State (Mich.) Bulldogs this season, posting an 18-14-5 record with a 2.02 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. He ranked fifth in NCAA Division-1 in GAA, tied for ninth for shutouts with three and tied for 10th in save percentage. Nagle also set school records for GAA and was tied for second in save percentage.