Mathieu Roy netted his second hat-trick in the past four days to lead the Florida Everblades to a 5-4 victory Tuesday night over the Gwinnett Gladiators at Germain Arena.
After both teams produced some excellent scoring opportunities in the opening period, Florida struck first on the power play at 11:27 on an impressive goal by Aaron Bogosian. Bogosian picked up the rebound from an Olivier Dame-Malka shot, and fired the puck from the bottom right of the crease into the top left corner of the net.
Seconds later, the Blades once again went on the power play. Ryan McGinnis took the shot from the top left circle but was stopped by Gwinnett goaltender Nick Niedert. Roy grabbed the rebound, and slipped the puck past Niedert for a 2-0 lead.
Gladiators got on board shortly thereafter, when forward Joey Haddad shot from the right circle hit Florida goaltender Rob Madore's skate and banked into the net ending the first period 2-1.
Florida continued to stay strong coming into the second period receiving their third goal by Roy. Roy brought the puck through the crease and squeezed a shot low past Niedert to extend the lead to 3-1.
Twenty-five seconds later, Alex Belzile gathered a rebound in front of the Florida net, and slid the puck around a sprawling Madore to pull Gwinnett within 3-2.
Roy was on fire, completing the hat trick at 15:06 of the middle period. Matthew Pistilli centered a backhanded pass from the right side of the net to the top of the crease. Roy received the pass, and batted it past Niedert for the goal. Roy's third of the game earned him his second hat-trick in the last four games, doubling the lead 4-2.
Less than a minute remaining in the second period, forward Leigh Salters picked up the rebound from a Maury Edwards shot, and slipped the puck into the net past Niedert on the shortside to give the Everblades a 5-2 lead after two periods.
Early in the third, Gwinnett countered. Nick Walsh slipped in behind the Florida defense and beat Madore five-hole on a shot out in front.
Following the goal the Everblades buckled down and was able to hold off the Gladiators for a majority of the period.
With eight seconds left in regulation, Gwinnett managed to get in one last goal on a shot by Evan Bloodoff. The late tally would not be enough, as the 'Blades ended up taking home the 5-4 victory.
Madore earns the win stopping 38 of 42 shots faced while Niedert suffered the loss allowing five goals of 20 shots faced.
The Blades take on the Evansville IceMen Friday night at Germain Arena and again Saturday at 7 p.m.