John Muse stopped 29 of 30 shots to help lead the Florida Everblades to a 3-1 victory Tuesday night over the Las Vegas Wranglers in Game 4 of the Kelly Cup Finals at Germain Arena.
The win gives the Everblades a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, and an opportunity to clinch their first Kelly Cup championship on home ice Wednesday night.
Eighteen minutes into the first period the Everblades got on the board as David Rutherford stole a pass in the neutral zone and quickly found Brandon MacLean. MacLean broke toward the crease uncontested, switched to his back hand and slipped the puck past Wranglers goaltender Joe Fallon for a 1-0 lead.
The Blades extended their lead to 2-0 five minutes into the second period courtesy of Matt Marquardt. Cedric McNicoll fired a shot from the top of the right side circle which was redirected into the goal by Marquardt.
The Wranglers answered with their only goal of the night about a minute later. Eric Lampe led a two-on-one charge and dropped off a pass to Peter MacArthur who rifled a shot past the Muse's glove.
The Blades added the insurance goal they were looking 15 minutes into the final period. Justin Shugg at the right side of the net bounced a shot off Fallon's back top shelf giving the Blades a 3-1 lead.
Muse was solid throughout the game, turning aside several quality chances by Vegas. Shugg finished with one goal and an assist while McNicoll added two assists.
Muse earned his league-leading 10th win of the of the season while Fallon took the loss allowing three goals on 30 shots faced.
The Everblades can close out the series in Game 5 at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Germain Arena.
Kelly Cup Finals
Florida leads series 2-1?Game 1 Florida 1, Las Vegas 2, Florida 1?Game 2 Florida 7, Las Vegas- 2?Game 3 Florida 4, Las Vegas 3 (OT)?Game 4 Florida 3, Las Vegas 1?Game 5 Wednesday, May 23, Las Vegas at Florida, 7:30 p.m.?Game 6 Friday, May 25, Florida at Las Vegas, 10:05 p.m. (if necessary)?Game 7 Saturday, May 26, Florida at Las Vegas, 10:05 p.m. (if necessary)