Written by Jake Wheeler
JACKSONVILLE, FL- The Jacksonville Icemen defeated the South Carolina Stingrays 2-1 with Icemen goaltender Justin Kapelmaster making 27 saves to get the win. Jacksonville got tallies from forward Luke Lynch and defenseman Jacob Friend.
Both teams got off to a good defensive start in the game as each team was vying for possession. The Icemen had the first penalty of the game as defenseman Jacob Friend was sent to the penalty box. While shorthanded, forward Luke Lynch made a great defensive play which sent Jacksonville on a partial 2 on 1, where forward Derek Lodermeier passed the puck to a diving Lynch, and he buried it to give us the early lead. The Icemen killed off the penalty, however, the Stingrays would score minutes later to tie up the game. With seven minutes left in the period, the Icemen won an offensive zone draw and the puck was lost in the slot and forward Bauer Neudecker corralled the puck and passed it to Friend at the point and he would beat the goaltender to take another lead. Late in the period, defenseman Sean Giles and a Stingrays player got tangled up and were each sent off to the penalty box. Heading into the first intermission, Jacksonville leads 2-1 while leading in shots on goal 12-10.
The Icemen got off to a good start in the second period and because of that they drew a penalty and had a powerplay early in the frame. The Icemen were unable to convert on the man advantage and moments later, Lynch was called for Jacksonville which sent us on the penalty kill. Jacksonville was able to fend off the South Carolina powerplay and we went back to full strength. The remainder of the period featured great defensive play with each time vying for possession and neutral zone play to gain an edge in play. Heading into the second intermission the Icemen lead 2-1 while outshooting the Stingrays 24-20.
The Icemen got off to a good start in the third period as well, as they had two early powerplay opportunities, one right after another. However, the Icemen were unable to capitalize but they could use the special teams play to gain some momentum. Jacksonville would then get called for two penalties, back-to-back, on defensemen Zach Berzolla and Jacob Panetta. Jacksonville’s penalty killers showed up big in order to protect their lead and help out goaltender Justin Kapelmaster. The Stingrays would pull their goaltender to make it 6 on 5 so the Icemen had to be keen on defense, but Jacksonville was fantastic defensively to secure the win. The Icemen won 2-1 while leading in shots on goal 30-28.
The Icemen are back at home on Saturday, January 22nd at 7pm versus the South Carolina Stingrays.