JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Icemen scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the first period and held off a push by the Florida Everblades over the final two periods to claim a 3-1 win on Friday at Veterans Memorial Arena.
Florida outshot Jacksonville by 19 shots in the game but Icemen goaltender Mikhail Berdin stopped 36 shots to help his team tie the best-of-seven South Division Semifinal series at two.
Jacksonville opened the scoring on a goal off an offensive zone rush by Maxime Fortier. Cam Maclise started into the zone down the right wing and fed it to the inside edge of the left circle for Fortier, who snapped a shot past Everblades goaltender Jeremy Helvig with six minutes, eight seconds gone in the first.
After assisting on the Icemen’s opening goal, Maclise scored one of his own a little more than three minutes later to double Jacksonville’s lead. Maclise snuck a shot under the blocker arm of Helvig and the puck crawled across the goal line to turn it into a 2-0 game.
Florida responded with the second goal of the postseason from Michael Downing to trim its deficit to one before the end of the first period. Downing got to the puck in space at the right point on a feed from Ben Masella and hammered a blast that beat the glove hand of Berdin with 4:43 left in the opening frame.
Jacksonville increased its lead back to two on a power-play goal by Kris Newbury with less than 10 minutes to play in the third. With Florida attempting to kill off a five-minute major penalty, Newbury received the puck at the left-wing boards and beat Jeremy Helvig’s blocker side with 8:04 left in the game.
Florida lifted Helvig for an extra attacker with just more than two minutes to play in the game, but the ‘Blades couldn’t score with the extra man to pull any closer.
Starting his fourth straight game in the series, Helvig turned away 15 shots for Florida.
Florida will attempt to regain the series lead when the two teams square off in Game 5 on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Arena.
With Jacksonville’s win on Friday, the series will go to at least six games. Game 6 is set for Monday at Hertz Arena at 7:30 p.m. Visit floridaeverblades.com for tickets and more information.
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