JACKSONVILLE, FL- Jacob Panetta’s goal early in overtime lifted the Jacksonville Icemen to a 3-2 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears Saturday night at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena.
The Icemen got off to a good start in period one as they looked to get back on track. The Icemen had their legs right off the start and had some momentum being back on home ice. While Jacksonville generated more shots and more offensive zone pressure, this was a back-and-forth period, with each team’s transition game and neutral zone play will be key. There were a few big hits and some scrums after whistle’s but neither team could gain a man advantage. After 20 minutes of play, the game remained scoreless.
The Icemen had another good start in the second period as they controlled the play early. Their good start would pay off as Derek Lodermeier got a Travis Howe pass in front of the net and buried it to let the teddy bears fly on Teddy Bear Toss Night.Moments later, the Solar Bears found their legs after the goal and added one themselves as Tyler Bird redirected a Pavel Vorobei point shot to tie up the game.
Orlando added another goal late as Andrew Sturtz received a pass from deep into his own zone and took off on the breakaway. Sturtz performed several deke moves to slide the puck into the net past Icemen goaltender Parker Gahagen to make it a 2-1 Orland lead after two periods of play.
In the third, Jacksonville got some timely saves from Gahagen who kept his team in the game on a few occasions. However, Orlando managed to keep the Icemen off the board for the first 18 minutes of the period.
The Icemen pulled their goaltender late in the period and Derek Lodermeier got to the front of the net and buried a rebound from a Luke Martin shot to tie the game up with 1:43 remaining in regulation to force overtime.
Early in the extra session, Luke Lynch jumped on a lose puck at his own blue line to begin a 2-on-1 rush the other way Jacob Panetta joined the rush and received a cross-ice pass from Luke Lynch. Panetta immediately shoved the puck into the net to seal the Icemen victory. The Icemen won 3-2 while outshooting the Solar Bears 36-19.
The Icemen host the Utah Grizzlies for a three-game set starting on Wednesday, December 7th at 7pm.