Written by Jake Wheeler
JACKSONVILLE, FL- Ben Hawerchuk’s goal with 40 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Jacksonville Icemen to a 4-3 victory over the Maine Mariners Friday night at Veterans Memorial Arena.
The Icemen got off to a quick start in the game as they generated offensive pressure to start the game. Jacksonville got the scoring started as defenseman Jeff Taylor buried the rebound from a Christopher Brown shot to give the Icemen a one-goal lead.
However, on the very next shift, the Mariners were able to score one of their own as Mathew Santos capitalized off of an odd-man rush to tie the game up at one goal.
Less than a minute later, Maine’s Cam Askew collected a pass from J.D. Greenway and banked it off the stick of Icemen goaltender Tyler Wall which gave the Mainers a 2-1 lead.
In the second period, the Mariners had an early powerplay opportunity in which they were able to capitalize on as Pascal Laberge scored off a rebound to make it a two-goal game.
Jacksonville quickly countered with a powerplay goal of their own when James Sanchez scored off a Jeff Taylor shot to put the score at 3-2.
In the third period, the Mariners thought they had scored early in the period, but their goal was waived off due to goaltender interference, so Maine continued with their one goal lead. Moments later, the Icemen recorded a second powerplay goal when Sanchez set up Joey Sides to tie the game at three goals apiece.
The game ended up going to overtime, which was a very fast and exciting one to say the least. With 40 seconds left in overtime the, the Icemen’s Ben Hawerchuk skated down the left wing and glided toward the Maine crease. Hawerchuk managed to stuff the puck past goaltender Jeremy Brodeur to seal the 4-3 Jacksonville victory.
The final score was 4-3 with the Icemen leading in shots on goal 37-25. The Icemen travel to Estero for a tilt with the Everblades on Saturday before facing Florida again at home on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of next week. Fans can catch Saturday’s game on www.mixlr.comjaxicemen or on FloHockey.TV