JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Icemen scored with 1:17 left in regulation to force overtime and bested the Florida Everblades, 3-2, in a six-round shootout to earn a 3-2 shootout win on Wednesday night at Veterans Memorial Arena.
Playing its final game of a four-game road trip, Florida (12-6-1-2, 27 pts.) went ahead only 3:21 into the third period, but Jacksonville (7-9-3-0, 17 pts.) tied the game late and eventually handed the ‘Blades their second straight shootout loss.
Jacksonville took the early lead, as Craig Martin scored just 68 seconds into the game. Martin picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, carried across the ‘Blades line, cut to his left and beat Everblades goaltender Cam Johnson with a shot from the inside edge of the left circle.
Ben Masella played a big role in the ‘Blades tying the game at one later in the first. After his initial shot from the right wing missed, Masella got the puck back at the far point off a feed from Logan Roe. Masella rifled a shot through traffic past Jacksonville goaltender Adam Carlson with 3:38 left in the opening frame.
Winiecki gave Florida the lead for the first time in the game with his team-leading 11th tally less than four minutes into the third. After Justin Auger lugged the puck to the slot and drew a penalty, Winiecki picked up the loose puck and rifled it low past the right pad of Carlson on the delayed penalty sequence.
But with Carlson pulled for an extra attacker in the last 90 seconds of regulation, the Icemen’s Dajon Mingo centered a pass that found Everett Clark in the bottom of the right circle. Clark slid it between the legs of ‘Blades goaltender Ken Appleby, who had entered the game in the second period, to tie the score.
Following a scoreless overtime, both teams scored twice in the first three rounds of the shootout to force sudden death. Three rounds later, Brendan Warren found the back of the net, and Carlson stopped Roe to secure the win for Jacksonville.
Florida now returns home for a two-game series against the South Carolina Stingrays on Friday and Saturday. Faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in the series opener on Friday.
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