Florida Everblades begin Kelly Cup Finals, going for back-to-back wins

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Four wins separate the Florida Everblades from becoming back-to-back Kelly Cup Champions.

The Everblades are facing the Idaho Steelheads in the Kelly Cup Finals. The game begins Saturday night at 9:10 p.m. in Idaho.

The Everblades punched their ticket to the Kelly Cup Finals with a double overtime goal in game six on the road.

“It’s been a whirlwind. It’s been a crazy ride, but we’re definitely excited to be back here in the Finals,” defenseman Ben Masella said.

The Florida Everblades are trying to become the third team ever to become back-to-back Kelly Cup Champions. For the Everblades, their experience from the last postseason propelled their success in this postseason.

“I think we have a new confidence this year. I think the guys who’ve been here, returners, we have a lot of returners that know what it takes. I think you have more of a target on your back being the defending champs,” Masella said.

“Once you experience the emotion, the feelings, the reward of winning a championship you want that feeling that much more, so I think that’s what a lot of our group is, lets you know we played all year. We played close to 100 games. Let’s finish it off with that great feeling of raising the cup,” Head Coach Brad Ralph said.

Last year, the Everblades defeated the Toledo Walleye in five games. This time they will have to take down the team who set the league record for points and wins in the regular season.

“To win you got to beat the best. You know, we’ve gone through three very good hockey teams already, and the fourth one would be the cherry on top,” Masella said.

This is the Everblades’ sixth finals appearance, which ties for the most in league history. The Everblades return to Southwest Florida Wednesday for game three.

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