Icemen Finish Strong, Top Rays 3-2
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Icemen (29-23-3-3) used a strong defensive performance and a third period goal from Derek Lodermeier to get past the South Carolina Stingrays (26-21-10-3) by a final score of 3-2 on Friday night at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
Stingrays’ goals came from forward Matthew Weis and defender Tyler Nanne, while goaltender Alex Dubeau stopped 22 shots in a losing effort.
The Icemen moved past South Carolina in the Eastern Conference standings with the victory to re-secure fifth place with a points percentage of 0.552.
Jacksonville’s Pascal Aquin gave the Icemen the initial 1-0 lead at 8:59 of the first period, but they were not able to hold it for long.
Just 1:54 later, Weis netted his sixth goal of the season for the Rays eight seconds into a power play opportunity at 10:53 from Max Gottlieb and Andrew Cherniwchan to even the game at 1-1. Weis has now posted points in 10 consecutive games, the longest streak for a Stingray skater this season.
Nanne gave South Carolina their first lead of the game at 2-1 with a shot from the top of the right circle that beat goaltender Charles Williams at 1:10 of the middle frame. Assists on Nanne’s fifth tally of the year came from Caleb Herbert and Max Novak.
But it was the Icemen that responded quickly in the second and Ryker Killins tied the game back up at 2-2 just 2:24 after Nanne’s strike. The tying goal came at 3:34 of the stanza and the teams’ remained even for the remainder of the frame.
Jacksonville got back on top for good at 4:18 of the third when Lodermeier redirected a puck past Dubeau from just outside of the crease to make it 3-2.
South Carolina had multiple chances on Williams late in the game, but was unable to get a third puck past the Jacksonville goaltender and fell short in the contest.
Weis’ goal was the only power play tally of the night, as the Rays finished 1-for-4 on the man-advantage while Jacksonville ended at 0-for-2. Williams picked up the win for the Icemen with 13 saves and Jacksonville had the short-on-goal edge, 25-15.
The two teams will face off once again on Saturday night in Jacksonville at 7 p.m. South Carolina will be back at the North Charleston Coliseum to host the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Wednesday, May 26 at 7:05 p.m.