Stingrays Fall to Icemen on the Road
JACKSONVILLE, FL – Six different goal scorers led the Jacksonville Icemen (18-8-0-1) to their ninth straight victory in a 6-2 win over the South Carolina Stingrays (9-14-2-0) on Wednesday night. The matchup was the fourth straight between the teams and first at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in over a month.
The Icemen broke the game open early on a goal from Travis Howe only 2:47 into the opening frame. Howe swatted a tipped pass from Luke Lynch through the five hole of Stingrays netminder Cédrick Andrée for his first of the season.
Derek Lodermeier doubled the lead midway through the first period, firing a shot from the top of the right circle to beat Andrée over the right shoulder for his sixth of the year.
Jacksonville’s leading goal-scorer, Craig Martin, added on with his 12th goal of the season on an early power play in the second period. Martin wound up and unleashed a missile from the blue line that banked off the body of a Stingrays defender and in for the 3-0 lead.
South Carolina would get one back 19 seconds later as Dominick Sacco sniped his fourth of the season. A misplay from the Jacksonville defense left Sacco alone inside the right circle where he positioned himself for a wrist shot up and over the right shoulder of Charles Williams, cutting the deficit back to one.
In his ECHL debut, newcomer Bauer Neudecker tallied his first professional goal before the second period expired. Neudecker found himself behind the defense after an excellent feed from Jacob Panetta and popped the puck top shelf to regain the three-goal advantage for Jacksonville.
Carter Cowlthorp saw a perfect opportunity and capitalized on it, cutting the deficit back to two. A defensive miscue allowed Cowlthorp to race to the puck and maneuver his way to the bottom of the left circle, firing one through the five hole for his sixth goal of the year at the 9:14 mark of the third period.
Abbott Girduckis picked up his lone goal of the night to go along with two assists only a minute and a half later, collecting a lose puck, splitting the defenders and scoring from a tight angle for the three-goal lead.
With the South Carolina goaltender pulled late in the third period, Ben Hawerchuk forced an offensive turnover and skated solo toward the empty net for his sixth tuck of the season.
Andrée made 15 saves while Williams stopped 16 shots in the lowest combined shooting performance of the season for the Stingrays.
The Stingrays return to action on New Year’s Eve with a noon game as the team travels to Orlando for the first time this season to take on the Solar Bears.