Jacksonville Sports Day

ECHL: Jacksonville Icemen Headed Home After 4-1 Loss to Florida

FILE PHOTO /Florida Sports Wire

ESTERO, Fla. – Blake Winiecki scored a goal and added to assist to lift the Florida Everblades to a 4-1 Kelly Cup playoff victory over the Jacksonville Icemen in Game 2 of the ECHL South Division Semifinals before 4,707 at Hertz Arena Saturday night.

The Everblades now take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The series now shifts to Jacksonville for Game 3 on Thursday, April 18

The Everblades scored first at 4:37 when John McCarron crashed the net and picked up the loose puck at the top of the crease. McCarron skated left and lifted a shot over the outstretch leg of Jacksonville goaltender Ken Appleby for the game’ first strike.

Florida extended their lead to 2-0 nearly 90 seconds later. Blake Winiecki received the puck off the boards at the right circle and then delivered a no-look backhanded pass across the ice to an open Kyle Platzer.

Platzer shoved the puck into the wide-open net to make it a two-goal game after the first period.

Despite the 90-second lapse in the second, the Icemen battled hard throughout the contest and was eventually rewarded for their efforts at 10:09 of the second period.

Dajon Mingo delivered a long lead pass from his own blueline that sprung Cameron Critchlow on an offensive chance.

Critchlow cut down the wing and lowered his shoulder to cut to the crease before slide the puck underneath the pad of Florida goaltender Jeremy Helvig to pull Jacksonville with one before the close of the middle frame.

Jacksonville continued to fight in the third period, but ran into trouble at the end of a power play opportunity.

The Icemen crashed the net in the closing seconds of a Florida penalty to Logan Roe. Roe exited the penalty box to join what became a 3-on-1 rush led by McCarron.

McCarron floated aperfect pass across the ice to a wide-open Roe in the slot. Roe snapped a shot from close range that beat Appleby for the goal. Roe’s first of the postseason put Florida ahead 3-1 with seven minutes
remaining

In the closing minutes, the Icemen pulled their goaltender to allow for the extra attacker, but Winiecki would add an empty-net goal to secure the game 4-1.

GAME NOTES: Icemen captain Garet Hunt was handed a game misconduct for boarding, his 18 major penalties during the regular season tied for the most in the ECHL…… Appleby made 31 saves for the Icemen, who were outshot 35-19 by the Everblades  earned his fifth straight win dating back to the regular season with an 18-save effort….the Everblades’ first period was their best of the night. Florida outshot Jacksonville by 11 in the opening frame and won 71% of the faceoffs en route to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes…..

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