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Panthers Prospect Johner Forces Game 7

Thursday, 05.17.2007 / 10:45 PM ET / News
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Panthers Prospect Johner Forces Game 7

by Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com


Dustin Johner gave the Florida Everblades life Thursday evening. Then he delivered an historic Game 7.

Johner, acquired by the Panthers in 2005, scored two short-handed goals, including the game-winner, to give the Everblades a 6-3 victory over the Dayton Bombers in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) playoffs.

Johner’s heroics force a Game 7 tonight here at Germain Arena in Estero. It will be the first in the franchise’s nine-year history. A victory would send the Panthers’ ECHL affiliate to the Kelly Cup championship against Idaho.

“It’s a huge game for us,” said Johner, a 5-11, 178-pound right winger. “To come back from being two goals down and force a Game 7 is exciting.”

Although originally drafted by the Panthers in 2001, Johner signed with Calgary as a free agent in 2004. In December of 2005, the Panthers called to tell Johner he had been acquired along with defenseman Steve Montador.

“It’s sort of come full circle for me,” Johner said.

Before a passionate crowd of 5,301 of fans here at Germain Arena, the Everblades fought back from a two-goal deficit in the first period and two, one-goal deficits in the second and third periods.

Johner provided the Everblades with a spark in the opening minute of the second period when he wristed a shot past Bombers goalie Adam Berkhoel to tie the game at two.

Despite falling behind 3-2 later in the period, the Everblades tied the game again at 16:56 with a goal from Derek Damon. Then at 11:14 of the final period, Johner broke down the wing on a two-on-one and once again wristed the shot past Berkhoel for the game winner.

“The whole building erupted,” said Everblades coach Gerry Fleming.

The Everblades have become a force in the ECHL. They’ve made the playoffs all nine seasons in the league, HAD gone twice to the Kelly Cup Finals, and had won the Brabham Cup for finishing the season as the ECHL point leaders.

They entered the playoffs after finishing first in the in the South Division with a record of 44-22-6 and 94 points. 

Johner had 29 goals (64 points) during the regular season and has scored seven goals for the Everblades during the playoffs.

Other players signed or drafted by the Panthers include:

Franklin MacDonald, a 6-0, 198-pound defenseman signed in September by the Panthers as a free agent, had four goals and 20 assists during the regular season.

Right winger David Brine, signed by the Panthers as an unrestricted free agent in September, had nine goals, 21 assists and finished the regular season with a Plus-4. Brine was called up four times to the Rochester Americans, the Panthers’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate.

Center Adam Taylor, scored 21 goals with the Everblades in 37 games.

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01
 
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