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Blades Season Comes To An End

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
David Shantz
The Florida Everblades season came to an end Saturday night, losing 3-2 in Columbia. The Inferno swept the Blades in the best-of-five series and have moved on to the next round of the ECHL playoffs.

Columbia built a 2-0 lead just 9:41 into the game as Reid Cashman scored his first of the playoffs at 5:55 and Daniel Sparre converted on the power play 3:46 later.

They held that lead until the third period where Florida final got on the board. Brandon Roach recorded his second of the playoffs at 2:22 of the period as the Blades used the power play to their advantage. But Columbia would regain that two-goal lead with the eventual winner as Brad Ralph recorded the unassisted goal 11:05 in.

Derrick Damon brought the Blades to within one again, scoring 13 seconds after Ralph’s tally. Todd Ford and the Inferno defense kept the Blades from tying it the rest of the way as 11 of his 33 saves came in the final frame.

David Shantz started in net for Florida and was solid, stopping 19 of 22 shots in the loss. Franklin MacDonald finished with a shot on net. Kenndal McArdle was a -1 with a shot and a roughing minor 15:23 into the first period. Adam Taylor also finished with a -1 rating and Peter Aston was a scratch.

The Blades finished the season with a 39-25-8 record in the South Division, good enough for fourth place.

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Only a day after their thrilling 4-3 double-overtime victory, the Waterloo Black Hawks were looking to go up two games in their best-of-five series against the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders.

And they were looking to do it in a less gut-wrenching way.

This time when the Black Hawks got up 3-0, they didn’t relinquish it like in Game 1. They first got on the board 15:24 into the first period off of a power play tally. Then added to their lead with their second power play goal 11:44 into the third period. And to top it off, added an empty net goal with 34 seconds left. John Lee recorded the second assist on the empty net goal. He finished a +1 and a shot on net.

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It wasn’t a good night to be a Vancouver Giant skater.

Tried as they might, the Giants players couldn’t find a way to solve Spokane’s netminder Dustin Tokarski, who stopped all 22 shots sent his way. Tokarski’s stellar play gave the Chiefs a 3-2 series lead thanks to the 4-0 victory Saturday night.

Michal Repik finished the game -1 and it was the first time (9 games) that he failed to garner a point in the playoffs.

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