Just four days ago, the Jacksonville Icemen (21-28-4-3, 49 pts) defeated the Florida Everblades (36-12-2-4, 78 pts) for the first time in the 2017-18 season, presented by Community First Credit Union. Tonight, the Icemen travel to Estero for a rematch against the best team in the Eastern Conference.
The ‘Blades have been idle since Saturday’s overtime loss, giving a very talented team time to rest up after back-to-back games. While they don’t have to worry about making the playoffs, they have to be concerned about maintaining their position in the standings. The South Carolina Stingrays are just two points back of first place in the South Division with two games in hand on the ‘Blades. Jacksonville should expect to see a well rested and threatening Florida squad tonight. The ‘Blades will be looking to avoid losing three games in a row for the second time this season with a victory tonight.
Jacksonville is coming off one of its best stretch of games all year. For the first time, the team swept a back-to-back-to-back weekend and now they’re looking to record the longest win streak in franchise history with a win tonight. Every game matters with just 16 games left in the 2017-18 ECHL season. Currently, the Icemen are eight points behind the Atlanta Gladiators for fourth in the South Division, but Jacksonville has two games in hand on Atlanta with two meetings against them upcoming.
The previous eight games have been tightly contested between these two clubs, and that competitive play should continue tonight. Special teams could easily be the difference maker, so the Icemen need to stay out of the box and take advantage on the power play. Jacksonville is looking for its first goal on the man advantage since Feb. 19 against Norfolk.
Tune in tonight to ECHL TV at 7:30 p.m. as the Icemen look for their second straight win over the ‘Blades.
(Photo Credit: Kevin Bires)
Jacksonville Icemen: 21-28-4-3 (5th in South division)
Florida Everblades: 36-12-2-4 (1st in South division)
Icemen: 22/224 – 9.8% (27th in ECHL)
Everblades: 36/204 – 17.6% (11th in ECHL)
Icemen: 201/244 – 82.4% (14th in ECHL)
Everblades: 207/241 – 85.9% (6th in ECHL)
Players to Watch:
#14 F Jimmy Lodge (JAX)
14G, 22A – 36 Pts, +20 Rating
Last Saturday night, it was Jimmy Lodge who propelled the Icemen past the ‘Blades in OT with his third game-winning goal of the season.
#15 F Mitchell Heard (FLA)
17G, 26A – 43 Pts, +17 Rating
Heard was instrumental in Florida’s comeback against Jacksonville last week, scoring once and collecting two assists.