In a thrilling battle between the South Carolina Stingrays and the Jacksonville Icemen, it was the Stingrays who emerged victorious, ultimately scoring the game-winning goal in overtime. The fans were treated to a display of skill, determination, and a nail-biting finish.
The first period kicked off with some physicality, as Ian Mackey of the Stingrays and Nick Isaacson of the Icemen engaged in a heated altercation, resulting in penalties for both players. Mackey and Isaacson each received two minutes for roughing, while Isaacson faced an additional two-minute penalty for cross-checking. Taking advantage of the power play, the Stingrays capitalized on their opportunity, with Tyson Empey finding the back of the net with assists from Michael Kim and Spencer Meier. However, the Icemen swiftly responded, with Matheson Iacopelli scoring to tie the game. Kevin O’Neal then managed to put the Stingrays back in the lead with an assist from Austin Magera, leaving the score at 2-1 in favor of South Carolina.
The second period saw a goaltending showcase, as the Icemen’s Michael Houser showcased his skills by saving all 15 shots faced during the period. The Stingrays had a power play opportunity when Garrett Van Wyhe of the Icemen received a penalty for holding, but Jacksonville’s defense remained resilient, denying South Carolina any scoring chances.
As the clock wound down in the third period, Iacopelli once again came through for the Icemen, scoring his second goal of the game with an assist from Derek Lodermeier, effectively tying the score. The Stingrays faced a setback when Connor Moore was penalized for delay of game, giving the Icemen a power play opportunity that could have sealed the game. However, the Stingrays’ penalty kill line displayed incredible determination and defensive prowess, successfully defending against the Icemen’s advances.
Overtime brought even more intensity to the game. Both teams demonstrated a relentless desire to secure the victory. In a thrilling moment of overtime, Josh Wilkins of the Stingrays managed to find the back of the net, assisted by Moore and Garin Bjorklund, securing the win for South Carolina. It was a remarkably similar outcome to their previous encounter just two weeks prior, which also ended in overtime with a 3-2 victory for the Stingrays.
The three stars of the game were awarded to Josh Wilkins and Garin Bjorklund of the Stingrays, alongside Matheson Iacopelli of the Icemen, who showcased his scoring prowess with two crucial goals. Additionally, a special mention goes to Houser of the Icemen, who played a spectacular game in net, making 34 saves out of 37 shots faced. The Stingrays were able to convert on one of their four power play opportunities, while the Icemen fell short on their two power plays.
Looking ahead, the Jacksonville Icemen will have the opportunity to redeem themselves when they take on the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at home on Friday, November 17th, in a game that will also celebrate Pucks and Paws. Meanwhile, the South Carolina Stingrays will face the Savannah Ghost Pirates at Enmarket Arena on the same day at 7:30 pm.
Fans can surely anticipate another thrilling and action-packed game as both teams strive for victory in their upcoming matchups.