2023 Florida Everblades vs Newfoundland Growlers

Florida Everblades Eliminate Growlers In OT, Advance To Kelly Cup Finals

Florida Everblades Eliminate Growlers In OT, Advance To Kelly Cup Finals

John McCarron scored in double-overtime to send the Florida Everblades back to the Kelly Cup Finals for the second straight year.

May 31, 2023 by Chris Peters

The defending champs are moving on.

John McCarron scored from a sharp angle at the nine-minute mark of the second overtime period to send the Florida Everblades to their second straight Kelly Cup Finals. The defending champions earned a 3-2 win in double overtime in Game 6 over the Newfoundland Growlers to claim the E.A. “Bud” Gingher Trophy as Eastern Conference champions and have a date with the Idaho Steelheads in the ECHL finals.

It was a hard-fought series that saw the Everblades win the first two, the Growlers win the next two and Florida claiming the series with two straight wins on the road. Three of the six games were decided in overtime. 

Game 6 started fast with Newfoundland sniper Pavel Gogolev scoring his eighth goal of the playoffs just 5:30 into the game. The Everblades answered just 2:27 later as Will Calverly evened the score.

In the second period, Logan Lamdin scored off of a broken play with the puck sliding right to him at the side of the net for an easy look to make it 2-1. The Growlers found a way to equalize, however, as Tyler Boland scored his fourth goal of the postseason at the 8:42 mark of the period.

The rest of the way, the game was played tight with low shot totals through the third period and first overtime, with Florida getting 16 shots through those two stanzas and Newfoundland putting up 15. Goalies Luke Cavallin and Cam Johnson were stout between the pipes.

Florida really controlled play for much of the two overtimes, however, and on their ninth shot of the second extra period, the Everblades found pay dirt. 

McCarron popped out from the near corner to sneak a shot over Cavallin for his second double-OT winner of the series and 100th career point in the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Playoffs. 

The former Everblades captain re-signed with the team in February and has now scored three of the biggest goals in their postseason to date including the double-OT winner in Game 2, the go-ahead goal in Game 5 and now the series-clinching overtime goal.

For the second straight year, the Everblades ended the Growlers’ season one step away from the league championship series. Newfoundland's players remained on the ice at Mary Brown's Centre until even after the Gingher Trophy was awarded so that they could properly salute their home fans after the bitterly disappointing finish to their season.

As for Florida, it's a good time to be a fan of both the hockey and the sunshine.

Both the Kelly Cup Final and the Stanley Cup Final will include teams from Florida as the Florida Panthers will be taking on the Vegas Golden Knights for the NHL's top prize and will have their ECHL affiliate going for a second straight Kelly Cup. 

The Everblades are set to take on the Western Conference Champion Steelheads, who are coming off of a five-game series win over the Toledo Walleye and will have home ice advantage in the finals.

ALSO READ: Idaho Steelheads Advance To Kelly Cup Finals

Game 1 is set for Saturday, June 3, at Idaho Central Arena in Boise at 9:10 p.m. ET. FloHockey will be your exclusive streaming home for the entire Kelly Cup Finals.