ESTERO, Fla. The Florida Everblades lost the series opener to the South Carolina Stingrays Friday night 3-2 in a double overtime thriller during the second round of the Kelly Cup playoffs.
The Blades jumped to an early lead 3:23 into the game when team captain Brant Harris scored off a centering pass from forward Levko Koper. Four minutes later, center Michael Kirkpatrick scored again off a pass from Harris, making it a 2-0 game.
The Stingrays responded with two goals of their own in the second period.
Early in the period, forward Steve McParland slid one past Florida goalie Anthony Peters from the top of the crease, closing the Blades’ lead 2-1.
The Stingrays tied the game 2-2 toward the end of the period when Domenic Monardo fired a shot through traffic to the back of the net.
Since neither team scored in the third, the game went into overtime.
Koper attempted to score with less than a minute left in the first overtime, but Stingrays goalie Parker Milner was able to come through with the save to keep the game going.
With the teams unable to score, they headed into a second overtime.
Although the Blades had several chances, the Stingrays sealed the team’s 3-2 victory with a shot by Monardo that clipped off of Peters and slid into the net.
The two teams will face off for Game 2 Saturday at Germain Arena at 7 p.m.