Trailing 4-3 in the final minute, the Florida Everblades got a power-play goal from Rocco Carzo to force overtime, eventually pulling out a 5-4 shootout win Sunday over the Wheeling Nailers. The win gives the Everblades a sweep of their four-game, five-day Atlantic Division road trip.
The Everblades (18-8), who also slip past South Carolina into first place by one point in the South Division standings, started the road trip with a 2-1 win at Elmira last Wednesday. After their only day off during the trip, the Blades rallied for three straight goals to conquer the Reading Royals 4-1 Friday in a rematch of the 2013 Eastern Conference playoff semifinal.
Saturday's clash with the Nailers ended with a 5-4 shootout victory. Both weekend wins over the Nailers were 5-4 shootouts.
When Ben Duffy's second goal of the night staked the Nailers to a 4-3 lead with 5:49 remaining in regulation, things looked bleak for the Blades, but on a power play with 24 seconds left in regulation Carzo deflected a shot by Braden Birch into the top left corner of the Wheeling net, knotting the game at 4-4 and forcing overtime for the second straight night.
In the decisive five-round affair, the Blades got goals by Brandon MacLean, who also scored in Saturday's shootout, Mathieu Roy and Kellan Tochkin while netminder Trevor Cann stopped three of five Wheeling shooters to preserve the win.
The Blades return to Germain Aren Friday to open a two-game, two-night holiday divisional showdown series against the Greenville Road Warriors.