The Jacksonville Icemen faced South Carolina in the first of two home games this weekend, and though the contest was tight throughout, the Icemen were overtaken 3-1 by the Stingrays.
Jacksonville kept it close with the 2nd place team in not only the South Division, but also the entire Eastern Conference. The shots were fairly even from top to bottom as were the penalties--but mostly because there were fighting or roughing calls in each period. If we learned only one thing from this contest, it's that these two teams do not like each other.
South Carolina was on the board first with a power play goal by Jonathan Charbonneau. Soon after, Kelly Zajac made it 2-0 Stingrays. The Icemen headed to the locker room down 2-0 after the first, but came out firing in the second.
Tanner Eberle extended his point streak to six games with a power play goal from Jimmy Lodge & Chris Dienes early in the 2nd to cut the Stingrays lead to 1. It would be the only score of the 2nd period, and the only on the night for the Icemen.
It looked like Jacksonville would tie it up early in the 3rd when Jimmy Lodge made an unbelievable move beating 3 skaters, only to be robbed by Jeff Jakaitis. The Icemen wouldn't get another good look in the final frame. The Stingrays' Mason Mitchell added an insurance goal late in the period to secure the 3-1 win.
The two teams meet again tomorrow at Veterans Memorial Arena for the final time this season. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. ET. Full schedule and tickets here.