For a few moments, it looked like the Icemen were going to rally back against the Florida Everblades late in the third period in front of 8,149 fans, but a late goal by Matt Mackenzie propelled the ‘Blades past Jacksonville for the second straight game.
Minutes into the first period, Austin Lotz flashed the glove as Brett Bulmer was all alone in front of the crease to keep the game scoreless. Moments later, captain Garet Hunt and Clark Seymour both got matching minor penalties for cross-checking, so each team would skate four aside. Tim Daly brought the puck into the offensive zone, made a nice move around a defender, and then beat goalie Martin Ouellette glove-side for the 1-0 lead. Rookie Justin Woods tallied the lone assist, giving the defenseman his first professional point.
Florida quickly responded as the second period began. Matt Berry received the puck from Logan Roe at the Icemen’s blue line and skated in all by himself before firing off a wrist shot past Lotz. Not too long after, Mitchell Heard brought the puck into the offensive zone on the left side and found Kyle Neuber across the ice for the 2-1 Florida lead. The ‘Blades would keep the lead for the remainder of the period.
The ‘Blades entered the third period with an impressive 24-1-1 record when leading after two periods, although the Icemen gave it their all to put a dent in that stat. With under eight minutes to play in the game, Kyle Bigos swung the puck on net and Bobby MacIntyre deflected it in for the equalizer. As the clock wound down, Florida capitalized as Lotz was knocked down and Matt Mackenzie scored the game-winner with 2:42 remaining.
Tomorrow, the Icemen travel to North Charleston, South Carolina for a matchup with the Stingrays at 3:05 p.m. Don’t miss out when the Icemen return home for their next game at Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. Click here to secure your tickets today!