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Everblades roll to 8-1 win in Game 1

Friday, May 31st
Everblades roll to 8-1 win in Game 1

The Florida Everblades used an offensive outburst to take an 8-1 win over the Kansas City Mavericks in Game 1 of the 2024 Kelly Cup Finals on Friday in front of 5,329 fans at Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence, Missouri.

Florida’s eight goals in the game tie the most in a single game in Riley/Kelly Cup Finals history, joining the 1989 Johnstown Chiefs (Game 1), 1992 Hampton Roads Admirals (Game 4) and 1996 Charlotte Checkers (Game 3), while the seven-goal margin of victory also ties the largest margin in ECHL Finals history (Trenton defeated Florida 7-0 in Game 1 of 2005 Kelly Cup Finals and Johnstown defeated Carolina 8-1 in Game 1 of 1989 Riley Cup Finals).

Box Score

The Everblades raced out to a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. Bobo Carpenter opened the scoring three minutes into the contest, scoring on a long wrist shot from the right-wing circle. 

Kansas City evened the score at 6:26 when Jeremy McKenna deflected a Nate Knoepke shot past Florida goaltender Cam Johnson for his ninth postseason goal, but two quick goals from the Everblades gave them a two-goal lead at the end of the period.

Oliver Chau raced down the left-wing boards to gather in a loose puck in the Kansas City end, and beat goaltender Cale Morris on the backhand at 15:55 to put Florida back on top, and then just 1:49 later, Cole Moberg ripped a slapshot past Morris from the blueline for his sixth goal of the playoffs - most among defensemen - to extend the Everblades’ lead to two.

The Everblades kept rolling with four goals in a nine-minute span in the second period. Carpenter scored his second of the game, and pulled into a tie for the playoff lead, with his 10th postseason goal at 8:50 while Riese Zmolek stretched Floria’s lead to 5-1 with at 9:28. Chau notched his second goal of the game, while Florida was shorthanded, at 11:09, and Logan Lambdin extended the lead to 7-1 at the 17:55 mark of the second period.

Zmolek’s second goal of the game six minutes into the third period set the final score at 8-1.

Cam Johnson stopped 34 shots to pick up the win in net. It was Johnson’s ninth career Kelly Cup Finals win, which ranks second all-time in ECHL history behind Riley Gill (11).

Game 2 of the series is Saturday night at Cable Dahmer Arena with face-off set for 7:05 p.m. CT. Catch all of the action live by tuning into FloHockey.

NOTES: Florida’s seven consecutive wins in the Kelly Cup Finals is the longest streak in ECHL Riley/Kelly Cup Finals history … The Everblades are seeking to become first team in the ECHL’s 36-year history to win three consecutive titles … Kansas City would be first team since Alaska in 2014 to win Brabham Cup as regular-season champion and Kelly Cup in the same season … Everblades improved to 12-0 when scoring first and 8-3 on the road in 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs.

2024 Kelly Cup Finals
Game 1 – FLORIDA 8 at Kansas City 1
Game 2 – Saturday, June 1 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City 
Game 3 – Wednesday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida
Game 4 – Friday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida
Game 5 – Saturday, June 8 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Monday, June 10 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, June 12 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City (If Necessary)

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