For the third time in three days, the Jacksonville Icemen (18-28-4-3, 43 pts) are facing off against South Division rival, Norfolk Admirals (21-27-5-1, 47 pts). Jacksonville looks for revenge following a 5-4 loss in overtime to Norfolk on Monday afternoon.
These two teams have provided competitive matchups each time they meet each other. Five of six meetings have needed more than 60 minutes of hockey, and each game has been a high-scoring thriller. Tonight's game will be the final time the Icemen host the Admirals in the 2017-18 season, presented by Community First Credit Union. With Jacksonville chasing Norfolk in the standings, two points tonight will be critical for the Icemen.
Norfolk has been on a hot streak recently, winning three of their past four games. Goalie Jamie Murray has stepped up and provided the Admirals with goaltending depth during this stretch of wins. He's recorded two wins in the previous four games and he only allowed four goals in those two victories. The Icemen have faced Murray twice this season, winning once in a shootout and falling once in the same manner.
On the other side, the Icemen received good news Friday morning. The team leader in wins and shutouts, Austin Lotz, will be returning to Jacksonville following a brief stretch with the Manitoba Moose. Lotz hasn't allowed more than four goals in a game since Jan. 13 against the league-leading Florida Everblades. Recently acquired defenseman, Chad Thibodeau, is looking to make his pro debut tonight and forward Cody Fowlie will be skating in his first game at Veterans Memorial Arena. Fowlie recorded his first two professional points on the road trip against South Carolina and Norfolk.
Tonight kicks off Teacher Appreciation Night as the Icemen thank the hard-working teachers across North Florida and South Georgia for their dedication to students. Teachers can go to the game for free! Learn more by clicking here! Additionally, a portion of ticket sales for tonight's game will benefit the Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund to support the victims, families and all those affected by last week's tragedy.
Do you have your tickets for tonight's game? Click here to get your seat for the 7:30 p.m. puck drop against Norfolk. Be sure to arrive early as the first 3,000 fans receive a free Icemen mini stick, thanks to our friends at Total Air Care!
Jacksonville Icemen: 18-28-4-3 (7th in South division)
Norfolk Admirals: 21-27-5-1 (5th in South division)
Icemen: 22/271 – 10.1% (27th in ECHL)
Admirals: 38/230 – 16.5% (16th in ECHL)
Icemen: 192/232 – 82.8% (13th in ECHL)
Admirals: 185/217 – 85.3% (7th in ECHL)
Players to Watch:
#24 F Garet Hunt (JAX)
12G, 7A – 19 Pts, -10 Rating
The Icemen captain is playing some of the best hockey of his career right now. He has 6 points against Norfolk and is just 2 points shy of tying his career-best goal total of 14 with the Stockton Thunder in 2013-14.
#14 F Darik Angeli (NOR)
19G, 18A – 37 Pts, -6 Rating
Angeli leads the team in goals against the Icemen with 5 this season. He has a total of 10 points against Jacksonville.