Written by Jake Wheeler
CHARLESTON, SC- The Jacksonville Icemen defeated the South Carolina Stingrays 3-1 as they have now won 11 of their last 13 games. Goaltender Francois Brassard was spectacular tonight, especially in the second period, while forwards Jake Elmer, Christopher Brown and Luke Lynch picked up the goals.
The Icemen got off to a great start in the first frame as forward Ben Hawerchuk made a diving pass to forward Jake Elmer, which sent him on a partial breakaway. Elmer slid the puck past the Stingrays goaltender, to take the early lead.
Moments later, Icemen goaltender Francois Brassard came up with a big breakaway save to keep us in the lead. On the breakaway, Jacksonville defenseman Kyle McKenzie was called for a penalty which sent the Icemen to the penalty kill. The Icemen killed off the penalty and shortly after, Francois Brassard came up with another big save to keep the Icemen in the lead.
Jacksonville was able to pressure the Stingrays to create a turnover behind their net as forward Christopher Brown had a turnaround wrist shot from the slot to make it a two-goal game. Following Brown’s goal, South Carolina was able to score on an odd man rush to cut their deficit to one goal. Heading into the first intermission the Icemen lead 2-1 while outshooting the Stingrays 9-6.
The Icemen got off to a slower start in the period with the Stingrays getting an early period powerplay as defenseman Brandon Fortunato sat for two minutes. The Icemen were able to kill off the penalty, however, the Stingrays used their powerplay to gain momentum as they controlled the play for much of the period. After 40 minutes of play, the Icemen continued to lead 2-1, despite being outshot 15-3 in the second frame.
The Icemen had a much better start in the third period as they generated a lot offensive zone pressure in the final stanza, outshooting South Carolina 19-4 in the period. The Stingrays pulled their goaltender late in the period, and Brassard made yet another big save in the final minute on Justin Florek to preserve the lead for his club. Momenta later, forward Luke Lynch scored an empty-net tally to make it a 3-1 victory for Jacksonville.
The Icemen play Sunday, December 19th at 3pm versus the South Carolina Stingrays.