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Gladiators extend Blades' slump 4-2

March 9, 2014
By RYAN RYLES - Special to the Breeze , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The losing streak was extended to three games Saturday night for the Florida Everblades after dropping a 4-2 decision to the Gwinnett Gladiators at Germain Arena.

As in Friday's game between the division rivals, Gwinnett scored first against Florida starting goalie Mac Carruth (23 saves) a little over 16 minutes into the contest.

The Everblades won the following faceoff which led to Phillip Michael Devos putting home Olivier Dame Malka's pass to tie it just over a minute later.

With the teams even heading into the second period, the Blades were looking to take control early. Forward Brandon MacLean led the charge scoring his 15th goal of the season just 1:46 into the period, giving the Blades their first outright lead of the weekend. Florida's defense, questionable due to turnovers and a lack of effort for the last two months, let the home team down and the Gladiators went on to score twice before the end of the period. Thanks to turnovers, the Gladiators took a 3-2 lead into the final period of play.

Though not as angry with the effort as he was after Friday's loss, Blades coach Greg Poss still had plenty to say after losing three straight to inferior opponents.

"We definitely played with more effort, but when you turn the puck over and draw selfish penalties, you get scored on," he said. "When you don't do things the right way on a consistent basis, then you don't get the breaks and things just don't go your way and that's where we are at right now. We've put a lot of pressure on ourselves."

The pressure Poss is referencing is the knowledge that the Everblades would miss the playoffs if they were to start today.

Gwinnett added an insurance goal in the third period while on a power play making the Everblades' last ditch effort with Carruth pulled from net meaningless.

The Blades (28-29) hit the road next week for three games against north division opponents, before returning home to play their final nine regular season games at Germain Arena.



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