Everblades clinch Eastern Conference title
LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Thanks to an overtime game-winning goal from Myles Powell the Florida Everblades clinched first place and the regular-season title in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference.
“You come to this rink and you see the banners up there,” Blades’ goalie Jake Hilderbrand said. “You see the success they’ve had consistently.”
With another banner now secure, the Blades have won a division or conference regular-season title in five of the last six years. Now is no time to count banners said head coach Brad Ralph.
“Playoff hockey is a different breed all to its own,” Ralph said.
Starting next week the Blades will begin the march to their second-ever Kelly Cup with home-ice advantage now secured through the first two rounds of playoffs.
This year the Blades have won more than 70 percent of their games inside Hertz Arena and are hoping to have that same level of success in the postseason.
“It’s a big morale boost for our group,” said Ralph. “When you’re tired and you’re not sure if you’re going to win or not, your fans can really give you that extra five percent that you need to pull through.”
While the Blades have first place in the Eastern Conference locked up, first place in the ECHL is still up for grabs with two games remaining. That is a goal Ralph still very much wants his team to reach for.
The Blades take a step toward that goal, meanwhile, Friday night with their final home game of the regular season against Greenville at 7:30pm.