Written by Jake Wheeler
JACKSONVILLE, FL- The Jacksonville Icemen defeated the Atlanta Gladiators 2-1 to take game 3 and to take a 3-0 lead in the series. Jacksonville’s Francois Brassard made 27 saves in the win with Luke Lynch and Ara Nazarian picked up the tallies.
The Icemen got off to a slower start than in the previous games as the Gladiators came out with a push in order to gain some early momentum. The Icemen had the games first powerplay and it paid off as Luke Lynch redirected a Brandon Fortunato point shot to take the early lead. Moments later, Jacksonville would head to the penalty kill as Sean Giles was sent off for a minor penalty. Atlanta had some good chances, but they were unable to convert on the man advantage. Later in the period, the Icemen went back to the penalty kill as Ara Nazarian was sent off for two minutes. Much like the first penalty kill, the Gladiators had some momentum, but the Icemen killed off the penalty. Jacksonville have a late powerplay that will carryover into the second period. After 20 minutes of play, the Icemen lead 1-0 while leading in shots on goal 13-7.
The Icemen got off to a great start in period two as they had 50 seconds remaining of their powerplay which gave them early pressure and momentum. This frame was a fast-paced period where the physicality picked up, too. The Icemen had the majority of the offensive zone pressure as they were peppering the Gladiators Nell. Jacksonville would add another goal late in the frame as Brendan Harris got the puck to Ara Nazarian who went in on a partial breakaway and scored off of a shot from the slot, to double to lead. After 40 minutes of play, the Icemen lead 2-0 while outshooting the Gladiators 22-13.
The Icemen got off to a solid start in period three, however, the Gladiators came on strong as they needed to get themselves back into the game. The Gladiators controlled the majority of the play in this frame as they had a lot of offensive zone pressure, and they were peppering the Icemen’s Francois Brassard. Halfway through the period, Atlanta was able to get on the board and cut their deficit to two goals as Mitchell Hoelscher scored. The Gladiators would continue to put the pressure on as they pulled their goaltender to put the extra attacker on the ice and while they had one last push, but the Icemen came away with the game 3 win. Jacksonville won 2-1 while being outshot 28-24.
The Icemen host the Gladiators for game 4 on Thursday, April 28th at 7pm.