The Jacksonville Icemen's third-period rally came up just short against the Florida Everblades on Wednesday night as the conference-leading 'Blades skated away with a 3-2 win.
The Icemen dominated the first few minutes of play, creating several quality scoring chances. Near the halfway point of the first period, Mitchell Heard stole the puck on the penalty kill and skated in on a breakaway to give the 'Blades a 1-0 lead. After several penalties, the 'Blades would have a 4-on-3 power play. Michael Kirkpatrick continued his dominant play with a one-timer from the left circle to give Florida a 2-0 lead.
Minutes into the second period, Colton Phinney made a huge save on Quentin Shore minutes into the second frame to keep the Icemen within two goals. As the game went on, both teams would continue to have scoring chances, but neither could score until Mitchell Heard struck again for his second of the game. The 'Blades finished the second period up 3-0.
Down by three goals, the young Icemen team would not be intimidated. Tanner Eberle fired home a wrist shot uncontested from the slot to get the Icemen on the scoreboard at 8:05 in the third period. Less than three minutes later, Cameron Critchlow found Elgin Pearce in front of the net with a sharp pass to cut the deficit to one. Despite a valiant effort, the Icemen fell to the 'Blades, 3-2.
The Icemen return to Veterans Memorial Arena on Thursday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. to take on the Atlanta Gladiators. Click here to get your tickets!
Photo credit: Kevin Bires