Written by Jake Wheeler
JACKSONVILLE, FL- Craig Martin’s goal in overtime lifted the Jacksonville Icemen over the Florida Everblades 5-4 at Hertz Arena Wednesday night. The Icemen rallied from deficits of 3-1 and 4-3 in the third to eventually earn the win in the extra session. Goaltender Francois Brassard made 28 saves to pick up the win. The Icemen received tallies from Craig Martin (2), Jake Elmer, Ben Hawerchuk and Ethan Szypula.
The Icemen got off to a fantastic start in the first period as they would go on the powerplay just a minute or two into the contest. While on the powerplay, forward Brendan Harris passed the puck to forward Craig Martin who was in the slot, and Martin scored off of a quick snapshot to take the early lead.
Moments later, the Icemen would head to the penalty kill as defenseman Roshen Jaswal went to the box. The Everblades quickly tied the game as Alex Aleardi redirected a point shot, just nine seconds into the powerplay.
Florida would struck again just ten second later as Solow buried a 2-on-1 cross crease pass from Aleardi to take their first lead of the contest.
Following a spirited scrap between Travis Howe and Kyle Neuber, Florida’s Dylan Vander Esch received a pass in the slot and he buried a quick snapshot to give his team a two-goal lead at the first intermission.
The Icemen got off to another solid start in the second frame Halfway through the period, Icemen forward Jake Elmer cut the deficit to one goal as he buried a Harris cross-crease pass.
Moments later, Jacksonville forward Ben Hawerchuk came flying down the left wing boards and created a 2-on-1, but he elected to take the shot and scored to tie the game up at three apiece.
The Everblades managed to score with two minutes left in the period to retake the lead 4-3 at the second break.
In the third, the Icemen received a goal from former Everblades forward Ethan Szypula who finished off a breakaway chance to tie the game at four goals apiece. The goal was the first pros goal Szypula.
This contest needed overtime and the Icemen had all of the pressure as they are the faster team, outshooting Florida 5-0 in the extra session. While in overtime, Florida was called a penalty for too many men on the ice. Icemen forward Craig Martin made them pay as he won the game on a quick slapshot from the left face-off dot to seal the 5-4 victory.
The Icemen now return home for a three-game set against the Atlanta Gladiators this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.