Knowing they would not be in the playoffs for the first time in team history, the Florida Everblades closed out the season on the a high note, defeating division rival Greenville 6-1 Saturday night at Germain Arena to finish the season with three straight wins over playoff opponents.
The Road Warriors drew first blood, beating Everblades goalie Andy Iles (32 saves) 1:08 into the contest. The early goal seemed to remind the Blades of what they were missing and what the sixth seeded Warriors have to look forward to.
The Blades came back and dominated the remainder of the period, scoring three times, the last of which being a highlight worthy shorthanded goal by Aaron Bloodoff unassisted.
The Blades carried their dominance through the second period, opening a 26-19 edge in shots. That pressure lead to the only score of the period, by Geoff Walker giving the Blades a commanding 4-1 lead heading into the final period.
"I'm proud of the way the guys played tonight," said Blades coach Greg Poss. "They knew they had nothing to really play for, but they still went out there and played well and put on a great show for the fans. I'm just happy that we played well today and finished strong. That is the most important thing."
The Everblades tacked on two more goals in the final period, the last of those by Brandon MacLean, his 22nd of the year, ending any hopes the Road Warriors had of making their own comeback.
Though missing the playoffs for the first time in team history, the Everblades finish the season 37-25 (82 points), their 16th consecutive season with a winning record.