LOVELAND – Things are now going to get interesting in the Kelly Cup Finals, as tonight the Florida Everblades would tie up the series at one game per-piece by defeating the Colorado Eagles 4-3 to tie up the series heading into Florida for the next three games of the series.

Despite the loss, Eagles forward Jake Marto would finish the game with two goals to help continue to push the pace against the Everblades.


Fans would not have to wait long for any action between these two powerhouse teams, as the two physical teams would continue to play a hard-hitting game — with Colin Bowman delivering this beautiful hit.

(Video Courtesy of the Colorado Eagles / ECHL)

Sometimes, you just have to get a little bit of puck luck to score — that would be exactly what would happen as Eagles forward Jake Marto would throw a shot on net, bouncing off an Everblades player and past Everblades goaltender Martin Oulette to give the Eagles the lead at the 17:09 mark of the first period that would hold as the single goal scored in the opening period.

“I just tried to chip the puck into myself, and I ended up just chipping it up to their guy,” Marto said about his goal in the first period,” So I ended up just being on a forecheck, and what he did is he actually just shot it into my shin pad and ended up going off my shin pad and went in”.

“Probably the weirdest goal I have ever scored, but we’ll take it and whatever gets the guys going”.

Despite the Eagles carrying a lead following the first period, the Florida Everblades would come up with the equalizer with Everblades forward Sam Warning would storm up the ice on the powerplay, make a nice move around the Eagles defenseman, and bury a shot short side on Eagles goaltender Joe Cannata two minutes into the second period.

Things would continue to go south from there for the Eagles, as the Everblades would extend their lead with a slapshot from the point from Everblades defenseman Matt Mackenzie that would find its way past Cannata to give the Everblades the 2-1 lead at the 7:11 mark of the second period.

With the large story of the game having to deal with special teams, both teams tried to clamp down on their discipline — as to not give the opponent any type of advantage.

“One thing that we preach all of the time is that we want to stay structured and disciplined,” Marto said, “and we want to stick with that to try to stay out of the box because we know that they have a good powerplay”.

Both teams would have plenty of chances on the powerplay, with the Eagles going 2-for-5 on it, while the Everblades would end up going 2-for-6.

Playoff hockey is all about converting on opportunities, and the Eagles would find themselves on an absolute gift of an opportunity with the second-period winding– in the form of a 5-on-3 powerplay. With the powerplay, Avalanche prospect J.C. Beaudin would bury a loose puck in the crease to tie up the game.

With the third period in either team’s hands, it would be Marto who would score his second goal of the game with a not so flukey goal — as Marto would fire a shot past Oulette in the slot to reclaim the Eagles lead.

However, the celebration would not last long — as the Everblades would storm down the ice, and tie up the game again only a minute later.

With the score tied, and the game winding down, everyone was looking to possibly play the role of hero on either team. In the end, it would be no one other than Avalanche prospect Mitchell Heard would who score the dagger to tie up the series.

After splitting the home advantage against the Everblades, the Eagles will now take off to Florida for a three-game swing that is set to start up Wednesday, with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EDT.