Icemen Rally to Earn a Point as Iacopelli Scores Twice
JACKSONVILLE, FL – Icemen forward Matheson Iacopelli scored twice, but the Icemen’s 3-2 overtime loss to the South Carolina Stingrays at Vystar Arena Wednesday night. Despite the loss, the Icemen do rally to earn a point in the standings.
South Carolina got on the board first, when former Icemen defenseman Michael Kim delivered a shot that was tipped and redirected in front by Tyler Empey for the game’s first goal.
Seconds later, the Icemen tied the game, as Matheson Iacopelli forced a turnover in the Stingrays end, and then skated with the puck to the slot. Iacopelli ripped a shot into the Stingrays net to even the score at one.
With nearly three minutes remaining in the opening frame, the Stingrays would re-claim the lead when a broken up pass in front bounced directly to the stick of Kevin O’Neil. O’Neil immediately hurled a wrist shot form below the circle that was clipped past a diving Icemen goaltender Michael Houser.
The two teams held each other in check until the third period. Houser stopped 24 shots in the second and third periods to keep the Icemen within one.
With two and half minutes remaining the Icemen faced an offensive zone draw and an extra attacker on the ice with their net empty. Derek Lodermeier won the draw cleanly, and Iacopelli grabbed the puck, paused and then delivered an absolute snipe of as shot that found the high left corner of the net for the tying marker.
The game would head to overtime, and the Stingrays managed to kill off an early power play opportunity in the extra session, which set the stage for a strong individual effort for Josh Wilkins to seal it. Wilkins streaked down the left wing, beat his defender and skated across the top of the crease and was able to get Houser to commit low. Wilkins then flipped a shot high over Houser’s shoulder and into the net for the game-winner.
Despite the loss, the Icemen rally for a big point in the standings. Houser was stellar in goal, stopping 34 of 37 shots faced in the contest.
The Icemen continue their homestand this Friday and Saturday as they play host to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 7 p.m.
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