The long wait for the first home victory is over as the Jacksonville Icemen (2-6-1-0, 5 pts) defeated the South Carolina Stingrays 5-2 on Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Arena.
The game started off poorly for Jacksonville as the Stingrays scored just 1:46 into the first period. However, that was the only lead the Stingrays would have today. After a successful penalty kill, the Icemen would quickly even the game. Jimmy Lodge brought the puck up the ice with speed along with Garet Hunt on a 2-on-1. Lodge's patience with the puck paid off as he sent the puck past the sliding defenseman to find Hunt alone in front of the net for the goal. Towards the end of the period, the Icemen would capitalize on their third power play of the game. Jimmy Lodge wasted little time as the forward scored 10 seconds into the man advantage to give Jacksonville a 2-1 lead heading into the locker room.
Halfway through a very competitive second period, Tyler Coulter picked up the scoring for the Icemen with a deflection in front of Stingrays goalie Jakaitis. The play started with a shot from the point from Dajon Mingo who was able to find Coulter's stick for the 3-1 Icemen lead. The goal is Coulter's first-ever professional goal and Mingo picked up his first point of the season with the assist. A little over five minutes later, Emerson Clark would continue his impressive season with a goal to make the game 4-1 in favor of the home team. This is the second straight game Clark has recorded a goal for Jacksonville and the seventh straight game with at least one point.
Jacksonville showed no signs of relenting in the third period as Alexandre Goulet found Emerson Clark from the corner with a beautiful feed to make the game 5-1. The goal marks the first time Clark has scored two goals in a game this season and is his first three-point game of the season. The Stingrays would respond with a power play goal of their own to reduce the deficit to three. Clark would have a chance late in the game for the first-ever franchise hat trick, but his one-handed backhand attempt went just wide of the goal. Jacksonville would hold on to the lead to capture the historic win in front of 7,464 fans. Goalie Jamie Phillips was stellar once again as he stopped 29 shots and earned the third star of the game.
Undoubtedly, this was an impressive win for the Icemen as the Stingrays are second in the division and had only loss once in regulation prior to today. Jacksonville will need this effort again as the division leading Florida Everblades come to town on Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets today!