It wasn't a merry start to Christmas week for the Florida Everblades on home ice Friday night, as the Blades lost to the Greenville Road Warriors 4-1.
A quiet first period had both teams heading into the second period scoreless. The Warriors looked to establish a more physical tone, initiating a pair of fights that eventually led to a pair of scores for the visitors.
Their first score came just after the midway mark of period when a shot from near the Greenville bench threaded its way through the bodies and beat Florida goaltender Trevor Cann's (33 saves) outstretched hand. A little over seven minutes later, Greenville left winger Jordie Johnston tallied his first of two goals on the night, stuffing one into the corner of the net, giving the Warriors firm control of the divisional matchup heading into the final frame.
With a full period of play ahead, and a history of late-game heroics leading to comebacks, or at least points in the standings, the Blades looked to get back into it at the start of the third, but a neutral zone turnover would led to Johnston's second goal, ending Florida's hopes of a comeback and an end to their five-game winning streak.
"We needed to be better defensively," said Blades coach Greg Poss. "We gave them too many easy goals. If you look at their four goals, we had the puck and gave it to them For us to win, we need everyone bringing their A game defensively. That didn't happen tonight (and) we gave up too many soft goals."
Matthew Pistilli scored Florida's loan goal, his 15th of the year, with less than eight minutes left.
The Everblades (18-7-1-1) and Warriors (10-13-1-1) meet again at Germain Arena Saturday night before heading into a week long Christmas break.