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‘Balance’ is goal for Everblades

November 17, 2011
By RYAN RYLES , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Florida Everblades enter this weekend's matchup against the Greenville Road Warriors a somewhat disappointing 6-7-1.

Despite that record, a positive trend has emerged recently - a balanced and potent offensive attack.

"We have guys that have the ability to score on all three of our lines," said Everblades coach Greg Poss. "Because of that, we are very balanced when it comes to (scoring goals)."

That scoring balance was evident in both of the Blades' victories last week. In both - against the Wheeling Nailers - at least four different players found the back of the net. For the year, the Everblades lead the ECHL in goals scored.

Their weakness shows on defense, however, where they have allowed a league-high 47 goals despite starting goaltender John Muse having the league's third-best goals-against average (1.84) and second-best save percentage (.942).

"It's rare to have your offense clicking so early in the year. Normally it's your defense that your offense feeds off at this time of the season," said Poss. "Right now, our defense is behind our offense, in terms of where they should be right now If our defense were a little better, we'd definitely have a couple more wins."

Defensively, the Everblades have relied heavily on their goaltenders while opponents have piled up more than 30 shots a game.

"Muse has been great so far this year," said Poss. "And (Pat) Nagle has been good, too. We expect to use (Nagle) this weekend."

The Everblades shouldn't have to worry too much about defense this weekend when they welcome in the Road Warriors to Germain Arena. Greenville has the fourth-lowest total goals in the league with 36.

4 In case you missed it, Ernie Hartlieb returned Saturday night in an Everblades jersey. The Blades were short due to injuries and call-ups.

"It's great having someone like Ernie around to fill in when we need him," said Poss. "He loves just having the opportunity to play professional hockey still. He's a great person to have around a lot of these young guys who might not otherwise get that appreciation for doing what we do and getting paid for it."

4 Wednesday's four-goal first period was the first ever for the Florida Everblades. The franchise has scored more goals in a period (6), but never has a Blades team started so fast as they did last Wednesday night.

4 The Everblades will auction off special game-worn jerseys for charity after Saturday night's game against Greenville.

The jerseys will be worn for both weekend games. The jerseys feature an ocean setting, along with artwork of sea creatures designed by children at the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida. Proceeds from the live auction will benefit The Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida.



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