It was not the way the Florida Everblades wanted to enter their Christmas break, after a furious comeback falls short and they suffer their second straight loss to division rival Greenville 8-4 at Germain Arena Saturday night.
For the second night in a row, the culprit was the same - turnovers and questionable goaltending.
In an almost repeat performance, turnovers by the Everblades in the first period led to Road Warriors goals. On two occasions, Everblade turnovers directly led to scores. The worst came with less than a minute to play in the period. While Florida was on the attack, a Warrior poked the puck away to a teammate racing to Blades net minder Trevor Cann (18 saves), who was unable to make the stop and the Everblades trailed 3-0.
Florida wouldn't got on the scoreboard at the eight-minute mark the third period, when a shorthanded tally by Tony Dehart brought the crowd to its feet, and the Blades within two. Defensive breakdowns on Florida's part led to a pair of goals by the Warriors four minutes apart in the second half of the period.
The Blades' comeback effort started at the close the second frame when after winning the last face off of the period, Olivier Dame-Malka found the back of the net with 1.5 seconds to play with his fifth goal of the season for a 5-2 deficit.
"I think we just lost to many of the one-on-one battles," said Blades coach Greg Poss. "I thought it was real positive that we got back into it and even had a couple of chances to tie it, but we were chasing the whole game. You can't spot a team three goals."
Florida's play stayed hot through the first 14 minutes of the game with Mathieu Roy, then minutes later Matthew Pistilli, scoring minutes apart to make it a one-goal game. Dehart and Joe Cavaney got quality chances to tie the game, but the effort was killed again by poor puck control, and turnovers resulting in two Greenville goals less than 40 seconds apart with less than 5:35 to play.