ESTERO, FL -- Garret Cockerill scored with 36 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Jacksonville Icemen to a dramatic 4-3 victory over the Florida Everblades at Hertz Arena Saturday evening.
Riding off the momentum of a pregame championship banner raising ceremony, the Everblades stuck quickly, as defenseman Patrick Holway’s wrist shot clipped past goaltender Matt Vernon for the game’s first goal just 1:49 into the contest.
Moments later, the Icemen tied the game on the power play when Christopher Brown tucked in a rebound at the crease for this second goal of the season.
Jacksonville grabbed the lead 4:53 into the second period when Anthony Petruzzelli scored off a rebound as well, lifting the puck up high into the net past Florida goaltender Cam Johnson.
Later in the period, the Icemen scored again, when Matheson Iacopelli skated toward the net on a breakaway and flexed a shot that clipped past Johnson cleanly to make it 3-1 Icemen edge heading into the third period.
Florida claimed some momentum in the third, and pulled within one on a tally by Bobo Carpenter who deflected a puck out of mid-air into the net.
The Everblades continued to pressure late and eventually opened up lane for down the ice for Joe Pendenza. Pendenza streaked down the right wing and snapped a shot over the shoulder of Vernon to tie the game at three with a 1:09 remaining.
Before the close of regulation, the Icemen found a way to seal the game. After creating pressure near the crease, the puck wandered to Garret Cockerill in the high slot. Cockerill delivered a shot low on the ice that zipped past Johnson for the go-ahead marker with just 36.7 seconds remaining. The goal would hold, and the Icemen pulled out the 4-3 victory to improve to 3-0-0 on the season.
The Icemen now get set for a home game on Thursday morning against the South Carolina Stingrays. The Annual School Day game is set for 10:30 a.m.