JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Josh Wesley scored his third goal of the season and Jamie Phillips made 20 saves, but the Florida Everblades dropped a 2-1 decision to the Jacksonville Icemen on Wednesday night at Veterans Memorial Arena.
In the first game of a seven-game road trip, the Everblades (5-4-2-0, 12 pts.) put up 28 shots on goal, but Jacksonville goaltender Mikhail Berdin turned aside 27 to give the Icemen (9-4-0-0, 18 pts.) their first-ever regulation win against Florida.
Jacksonville opened the scoring only three minutes, 20 seconds into the first period. Grant Cockerill’s shot from the right point deflected off a host of bodies in front of Phillips. Cody Fowlie then tracked down the loose puck and whacked it past Phillips.
It took more than 26 minutes for the next goal of the game, but Jacksonville struck on a zone rush to push its lead to two. After crossing into the offensive zone, Wacey Rabbit blasted a slap shot from the right wing that beat Phillips short side for what proved to be the eventual game-winning goal with 10:39 left in the second period.
The Everblades whittled the deficit to one on a hard-working shift in the offensive zone in the last four minutes of the second. John McCarron helped create the play by using his body to hold off a Jacksonville player. He then dished to Wesley, who sliced through the right circle and roofed the puck on Berdin for his third goal of the year.
McCarron’s assist on Wesley’s goal extended his team season-high point streak to six games. Joe Cox also had an assist on the lone goal, giving him a point in five straight games.
By yielding only two goals, Phillips has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his six starts this season.
After a day off on Thursday, Florida continues a stretch of four games in five days with a Friday night matchup against the South Carolina Stingrays in North Charleston, South Carolina. The game gets underway at 7:05 p.m., and fans can listen in on WJBX (101.5 FM, 104.3 FM, 770 AM) or online at www.wjbxnewstalk.com.
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