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Icemen Move Into Second Place with 5-2 Win at Greenville

Monday, January 22nd
Icemen Move Into Second Place with 5-2 Win at Greenville

GREENVILLE, SC – Matt Vernon made 31 saves, while Damien Giroux scored twice to lead the Jacksonville Icemen to a 5-2 victory over the first-place Greenville Swamp Rabbits at Bons Secours Wellness Arena Saturday evening. 

Early in the first, Icemen’s Ivan Chukarov delivered a slap pass to the backside of the crease to Damien Giroux. Giroux immediately slammed the puck into the Greenville net for the game’s first goal, 1-0 JAX.   

Later In period, defenseman Garret Cockerill raced into the zone for a one-on-one scoring chance with Greenville goaltender Luke Richardson.  Cockerill skated to the top of the creased and switched backhand to forehand and swung the puck into the net to make it a 2-0 game. 

Later in the first, the Swamp Rabbits had a chance to get on the board with a penalty shot by Tanner Eberle, but Icemen goaltender Matt Vernon remained poised and managed to knock it away to keep it 2-0 Jacksonville. 

In the closing minutes of the opening frame, the Icemen continued their assault, scoring on the power play as Olivier Nadeau, standing at the top of the crease, managed to re-direct the puck high into the net for tally to make it 3-0 Jacksonville lead. 

The Swamp Rabbits garnered their first goal of the game while killing off an Icemen power play. Colton Young took  away an Icemen miscue at the blue line, and skated down the Ice on a shorthanded breakaway.  Young slide a shot low just below the pad of Vernon for the shorthanded tally to make it two-goal game at 3-1. 

The Icemen countered with a goal of their one with 27 second remaining in the second period, as Garrett Van Wyhe snuck a shot behind goaltender Ryan Bednard who has entered the game in a relief effort for Richardson. 

In the third, Greenville pulled within in two on a tally by defenseman Joe Leahy, which seemed to spark the Rabbits offensively.   Greenville threw a plethora of shots and scoring chance at the Icemen net, but Vernon shut them down to preserve a 5-2 win over Greenville to move into second place in the South Division. 

 Both teams play again tomorrow in Greenville at 3 p.m. 

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