2024 Florida Everblades vs Adirondack Thunder

Florida Everblades Closer To Three-Peat After Winning East In ECHL Playoffs

Florida Everblades Closer To Three-Peat After Winning East In ECHL Playoffs

The Florida Everblades dispatched the Adirondack Phantoms in six games to reach the ECHL Kelly Cup Finals for the third straight year.

May 29, 2024 by Chris Peters

The Florida Everblades are four wins away from making ECHL history. The two-time defending champions have advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals for the third straight year after defeating the Adirondack Thunder in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Florida will look to become the first team to win three consecutive championships in the ECHL.

The Everblades will be seeking their fourth Kelly Cup in franchise history, which would also be a league record, when they take on the Western Conference champion Kansas City Mavericks.

In a tough series with North Division champs Adirondack, the Everblades were given just about all they could handle. Game 6 was no different as Florida had to hold off the Thunder to the very end of the game, ultimately earning a 4-3 win to claim the E.A. "Bud" Gingher Trophy as Eastern Conference champions.

In a tight first period, former New York Islanders first-round pick Josh Ho-Sang opened the scoring with his first goal of the playoffs, scoring from the slot. The two squads combined for just 14 shots between the two of them in the opening frame. 

It was a different story in the second period, which started with a fight 25 seconds into the middle frame. Thunder forward Filip Engaras took exception to a hit Sean Josling made on an Adirondack defenseman and dropped the gloves for a spirited bout. Those two fighting majors were the first of nine penalties between the two sides in the second.

Florida’s Bobo Carpenter got the special teams game fired up as he scored on a re-direction from the slot at the 13:50 mark of the middle period to make it a 2-0 lead.

Engaras, who injected life into his team with his fists earlier, did it with the puck on his stick late in the second period. Immediately off a faceoff, Engaras drilled a one-time slap shot past Florida goalie Cam Johnson to make it 2-1 and put a little belief back in the Adirondack faithful.

In the third period, Florida standout Oliver Chau let a little air out of the comeback bid when he stripped Adirondack captain Darian Skeoch and skated all the way down on a breakaway before roofing a shot over Jeremy Brodeur’s right shoulder to extend the lead back to 3-1. 

Joe Pendenza seemingly put the game out of reach when he scored on a shorthanded breakaway in much the same way Chau did, pushing the lead to 4-1, but Adirondack would not go quietly.

The comeback bid started with Engaras scoring on a rebound while all alone in front with just over 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Just 1:34 later, Florida didn't pick up Timur Ibragimov who was all alone at the back door for an easy tap in past Johnson. 

Florida called a timeout immediately after Adirondack's goal to make it a 4-3 game. That was enough to settle things down.

There were a couple more close calls, but the Everblades escaped with a win and can start making their travel plans for Independence, Missouri, and a date with destiny.

The Kelly Cup Finals will feature the team with the best record in the regular season against the two-time defending champs. You will not want to miss that one.

ECHL Eastern Conference Finals Results

Adirondack Thunder (43-18-11) Vs. Florida Everblades (40-23-9)

Game 1 - Florida 2, Adirondack 1
Game 2 - Adirondack 2, Florida 0
Game 3 - Florida 4, Adirondack 0
Game 4 - Florida 3, Adirondack 0
Game 5 - Adirondack 4, Florida 2
Game 6 - Florida 4, Adirondack 3

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