Written by Jake Wheeler
JACKSONVILLE, FL- The Jacksonville Icemen defeated the Greenville Swamp Rabbits 2-1 as Francois Brassard made 22 saves to pick up the win. Jacksonville got tallies from Ara Nazarian and Craig Martin to pick up the win and clinch the 3rd seed in the south division.
The Icemen had the first powerplay of the game, and while they had a few good scoring chances, they could not capitalize on the man advantage. Moments later, Jacksonville would head to the penalty kill as Jacob Friend was called for a minor penalty. With time winding down on the powerplay, Greenville was able to strike as Max Zimmer buried a cross crease pass to take the first lead of the game. Later in the period, the Icemen had a second powerplay, however, they were unable to convert. After 20 minutes of play, the Icemen trail 1-0 while outshooting the Swamp Rabbits 13-7.
The Icemen got off to another strong start in the second period as they continued to have the momentum from the start. The Icemen got on the board a few minutes in as Ara Nazarian scored off of a wrist shot from the slot after a pass from Zach Berzolla. The second frame featured fast paced, back and forth hockey that didn’t feature a single penalty. Jacksonville controlled the majority of the play the remainder of the frame, but Greenville had their spurts of pressure, too. After 40 minutes of play, the game is tied 1-1 with the Icemen leading in shots on goal 25-17.
The Icemen got off to another strong start in the third period as this was another fast paced, back- and-forth period, however, the Icemen seemed to control the momentum. The physicality picked up in this frame as both teams were finishing their checks but still no penalties in the third.
This game had the makeup of a playoff game as each team played very well defensively and the crowd was great, too.
This contest would need overtime as neither team wanted to make a mistake that would cost their team. In overtime, Jacksonville controlled the play for the entire time, and it paid off as Craig Martin scored off of a cross-crease pass to win the game for the Icemen. The Icemen won 2-1 while leading in shots on goal 33-23.
The Icemen host the Orlando Solar Bears on Saturday, April 16th at 7pm for the regular season finale.