The Florida Everblades didn't make it easy on themselves Thursday night at Germain Arena, but came away with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Trenton Titans.
From the opening puck drop, the Everblades looked like the dominant team, but failed to play that way for much of the contest. Trenton got on the scoreboard first, after Blades netminder Pat Nagle (27 saves) was beaten midway through the opening period.
The Everblades managed to tie it up before the end of the first period after a perfect pass from team captain Mathieu Roy from behind the Trenton net found the stick of Matt Beca for Beca's fifth goal of the year.
"I give the credit to Trenton," said Blades coach Greg Poss. "They played a really good game. They were really flying out there, but we just weren't making plays. I knew if we stuck with it (the puck) eventually would go in for us. This was a really good hockey game."
The Everblades reasserted their style of play heading into the second period, but only succeeded in continuing to play down to the Titans, who were covering up their skill level by rushing all offensive players to the net once the puck had crossed into the scoring zone. Though the Everblades managed to limit most of the rushes, the Titans still managed to score in the period. With less than eight minutes to play in the period, the Everblades found themselves in a 4-on-4 situation. One minute into the 4-on-4, the Titans seemingly hit a post, but following almost a five-minute delay while the referees discussed the situation, a goal was added to Titans, giving them a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
"That was the correct call," Poss said of the goal.
Florida's superior talent finally came through late in the third period. With 2:46 left in regulation, the Everblades found themselves on a timely power play. Less than a minute into the extra-man advantage, Ryan Galiardi fired a cross-ice pass to Phillip-Michael Devos, who scored an easy goal with the goalie out of position and forcing overtime.
The overtime hero was Scott Pitt, with Devos finishing a nice scoring night by getting the feed for the game-winner.
The Everblades (14-13-2) and Titans play again Friday night at Germain Arena.