Written by Jake Wheeler
JACKSONVILLE, FL-- Charles Williams shut the door making 27 saves, while Brandon Gignac scored the game-winning goal in the third period, to give the Jacksonville Icemen the 2-1 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears. With the win, the Icemen pull even with Orlando for the fourth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
The game got off to a fast start with both clubs looking to gain momentum by having sustained offensive zone pressure. About five minutes into the period, Icemen goaltender Charles Williams made a great save by sliding across the crease to block a cross-crease opportunity.
With nearly 10 minutes left in the period, Icemen forward Nick Saracino stole the puck from the Solar Bears defenseman and took off on a breakaway. Saracino managed to score on wrist shot on the blocker side of Orlando goaltender Clint Windsor and give Jacksonville a one-goal lead.
Towards the end of the period, Orlando defenseman Matt Spencer scored off a rebound from the slot to score and tie the game up. At the end of 20 minutes the game was tied 1-1.
The second period was a goaltending battle as Jacksonville keeper Charles Williams and Orlando netminder Clint Windsor played spectacular in the middle frame to keep the game tied at one after 40 minutes of play.
Nearly six minutes into the third period, a mishandled puck by Orlando was take away by Icemen forward Brandon Gignac. Gignac streaked own the ice and with a one-handed push, was able to sneak the puck past Clint Windsor’s pad to give Jacksonville a one-goal lead. His goal energized his teammates and the Icemen continued their stellar defensive play to close out the 2-1 victory.
The Icemen close out their five-game homestand on Wednesday, May 18 at 7 pm agaist the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.