GREENVILLE, SC – Matt Vernon made 32 saves while Jerry D’Amigo finished with three points to lead the Jacksonville Icemen to a 5-2 road victory over the first-place Greenville Swamp Rabbits Saturday evening at the Bons Secours Wellness Arena. The Icemen have now on five straight games and have outscored their opponents a whopping 29-9 during this stretch.
Greenville grabbed the game’s first goal just three minutes into the contest. Following a shot from the wing that was initially stopped by Vernon, the puck revealed itself in the crease. Ethan Somoza lunged in the blue paint and swept the puck into the net to give Greenville a 1-0 lead.
Icemen countered late in the opening period, as Luc Brown would pick up the rebound from a Garrett Cockerill shot and flip it in on the backhand to tie things up at 1-1.
Five minutes into the second period, the Icemen took the lead as captain Christopher Brown used great hand-eye coordination to swing and bat the puck out of mid-air for the tally to give Jacksonville a 2-1 edge.
Just over a minute later, the Icemen added to their lead as Riley Fiddler-Schultz collected the puck in the high slot and swung to the left-wing circle where he fired a low shot that slipped past the outstretched leg of Greenville goaltender Jacob Ingham to make it a 3- 1 lead for the Icemen.
The Icemen held Greenville off the board for a majority of the third period, a miscue by Matt Vernon behind the net would lead to a turnover and Tanner Eberle would steal the puck and throw it to Nikita Pavlychev in the slot. Pavlychev wristed a shot into the Icemen net to make it a one-goal affair in the final minute.
However, in the closing seconds of the game, the Icemen secured the game with two empty-net tallies by D’Amigo and Logan Cockerill to secure the 5-2 win and extend the Icemen’s win streak to five games.
The Icemen are back at home on Wednesday and Saturday or next week against the Orlando Solar Bears.