Written by Jake Wheeler
JACKSONVILLE, FL- The Jacksonville Icemen defeated the Greenville Swamp Rabbits 3-1 to sweep the weekend series in front of an announced crowd of 8,367 at Veterans Memorial Arena Saturday night. Icemen goaltender Francois Brassard made 20 saves in the win while forwards Ara Nazarian and Craig Martin along with defenseman Sean Giles picked up the goals in this contest.
Both teams picked up where they left off last night, however, the Swamp Rabbits scored a few minutes in, on an innocent looking shot on goal by Anthony Beauchamp just 1:31 into the contest.The Icemen answered just two minutes later as forward Ara Nazarian scored off of a wrister from the right faceoff dot that beat Greenville netminder Evan Fitzpatrick. After 20 minutes of play, the two teams were tied after the first break.
The Icemen were unable to convert on the remaining powerplay time and following the special teams play a fight broke out as defenseman Croix Evingson had a big check on a Swamp Rabbits player. Greenville received a powerplay following the fight, but the Jacksonville penalty killers played well defensively and did not allow them much on the special teams play.
The Icemen later scored defenseman Sean Giles buried the rebound after a scramble in front of the Swamp Rabbits net to take a one-goal lead. Jacksonville would then have another late powerplay and just like earlier in the game, the powerplay will carryover into the next period. The Icemen took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
The third period started off with the Icemen having gained some momentum from the early powerplay. They were able to generate some sustained offensive zone pressure following the powerplay. About halfway through the period, the physical play started to pick up and both Jacksonville and Greenville were called for matching minors which had us see some 4-on-4 hockey.
The Icemen had a late penalty kill but the defense was spectacular and did not allow the Swamp Rabbits to generate much offensively. Jacksonville killed off the powerplay and added an empty-net goal from forward Craig Martin to seal the deal for the Icemen. The Icemen won 3-1 while leading in shots on goal 22-21.
The Icemen travel to Estero on Wednesday, February 16th to faceoff against the Florida Everblades at 7 pm. The Icemen are back on home ice on Sunday, February 20 at 3:00 p.m.