|(SportsDay photo by Nancy DeLander Beecher)|
Rookie forward Logan Cockerill scored a goal and added an assist while goaltender Michael Houser stopped 26 of 27 shots.
The Icemen grabbed the game’s first goal in a peculiar fashion. A deflected Icemen shot propelled into the air and was initially caught by Savannah goaltender Michael Bouillion.
Bouillion attempted to get a better grasp on the puck in this club, but the puck fell out of his mitt and onto the ice. Bouillon dropped down to the ice, while a Savannah defenseman tried to pin the puck against Bouillion’s body to draw a whistle. Inadvertently, the cover attempt sailed underneath Bouillion’s legs, and the puck sailed into the net for the goal.
Jacksonville grabbed a 2-0 lead on a strong play by Nick Isaacson. Isaacson took a shot that would be stopped, but he chased down his own rebound and made a physical play on a Savannah defender to get possession. Isaccson trekked back toward the net and carved a backhand shot from a tough angle to score the second Icemen goal.
The Icemen extended their lead in the second period on the power play. Matheson Iacopelli fired a shot from the right wing that was tipped and redirected into the net by Derek Lodermeier to make it a 3-0 Jacksonville advantage.
Moments later, the Ghost Pirates took advantage of a bounce that caused the puck to wander to Vincent Marleau in the slot. Marleau snapped a shot that clipped past Icemem goaltender Michael Houser to pull the Ghost Pirates within two.
However, the Icemen continued to dictate the pace and control of the game and Savannah struggled to gain any momentum. In the third, the Icemen netted a second power play tally when Logan Cockerill hammered home a one-timer to put the score at 4-1.
Savanah unleashed 16 third period shots, and Houser was able to stop 15 of them, only allowing a Alex Gilmour goal in the final frame. Jacksonville’s Jacob Panetta added an empty-net goal to seal a 5-2 Icemen win.