ECHL: Jacksonville Icemen Announce 2023-24 Season-Ending Roster

Andrew Fielder/Inside the Rink

The Jacksonville Icemen have announced their season-ending roster for the 2023-24 season. The roster is comprised of six defensemen, two goaltenders, and 10 forwards. This season, the Icemen, who reached the Kelly Cup playoffs for the third consecutive year, led all teams in attendance with an average of 8,768 fans per game. The team’s strong performance throughout the season and the contributions of the players on the season-ending roster played a significant role in attracting such a large fan base.

Goaltenders (2)
Matt Vernon
Joe Murdaca

In the regular season, Icemen goalie Matt Vernon achieved a save percentage of .909% and a GAA of 2.67 after playing 25 games. Throughout the Kelly Cup run, Vernon continued to deliver strong performances, boasting a save percentage of .928 across seven playoff games. His playoff record consisted of three wins and a GAA of 2.10. Matt Vernon received several accolades in the ECHL, including being named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team and the All-ECHL Second Team. He was also recognized as the ECHL Goaltender of the Month for February and earned the title of ECHL Goaltender of the Week twice.

Joe Murdaca played in 15 games for the Icemen in the regular season, securing seven victories, three defeats, and one overtime loss. Throughout this timeframe, he upheld a save percentage of .907 and a GAA of 2.67.

Defensemen (6)
Ivan Chukarov
Jacob Panetta
Julian Kislin
Connor Russell
Garret Cockerill
Sean Leonard

There are a few standout defensemen on the Icemen team. Ivan Chukarov, who was honored with the team’s Defenseman of the Year Award, wrapped up the regular season with an impressive 28 points, positioning him as one of the top performers for the Icemen. His contribution included five goals and 23 assists across 70 games, leading in both categories for the team. Another notable defenseman on the roster, Garret Cockerill, also secured a spot in the top five among defensemen in terms of points, having accumulated 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists). During the postseason, Cockerill contributed two assists. In the regular season, Jacob Panetta led Cockerill in total points with four goals and 20 assists, ranking second among the defensemen. Throughout the playoff run, he earned one point from an assist.

Forwards (10)
Derek Lodermeier
Ryan Scarfo
Jerry D’Amigo
Chris Grando
Craig Martin
Justin McRae
Matheson Iacopelli
Brendan Harris
Garrett Van Wyhe
Logan Cockerill

In the Kelly Cup game versus the Florida Everblades, Lodermeier netted the first goal in Game 3, helping the Icemen to later take a 2-1 series lead. In that same game, teammate Garrett Van Wyhe fired a strong shot past the Everblades goalie, Cam Johnson, to increase the team’s lead to 2-0. The game went into overtime, and the Icemen secured a 4-3 win in the end.

Alternate Captain Derek Lodermeier wrapped up the regular season with 32 points, courtesy of 11 goals and 21 assists in 63 games. During the postseason, the forward showcased his skill by leading his team in points with six while also securing the highest number of goals with four. Additionally, he contributed two assists to the Icemen’s tally.

Garrett Van Wyhe made his impact in the postseason by scoring a goal and providing another assist. As a result, he accumulated two points (one goal, one assist). Van Wyhe’s goal in Game 3 stood out as a crucial moment for the Icemen, propelling the team to advance further in the playoffs than they had in previous seasons.

Matheson Iacopelli, Alternate Captain for the team, scored a total of 27 goals in the current season, marking the second-highest goal tally achieved by a Jacksonville Icemen player since the 2018-19 season. Iacopelli stood out as the sole player to achieve a hat trick for the Icemen during this season, accomplishing this feat twice in March against Orlando and Greenville.

Five Icemen players achieved new career highs in points, goals, and assists this season. Brendan Harris recorded 66 points (21 goals, 45 assists), Matheson Iacopelli scored 40 points (27 goals, 13 assists), Garrett Van Wyhe had 35 points (19 goals, 16 assists), Ivan Chukarov earned 28 points (5 goals, 23 assists), and Connor Russell contributed 13 points (1 goal, 12 assists).

Defenseman Brendan Fortunato, as well as forwards Christopher Brown, Riley Fiddler-Schultz, and Damien Giroux, have been excluded from this list due to being under an AHL contract during the 2023-24 season.

The Icemen will kick off their 2024-25 season by hosting the 2024 Kelly Cup Champions, the Florida Everblades, on October 19 at 7 pm.

Season-Ending Rosters may include up to 20 players. Season-Ending Rosters cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2023-24.

Each team may reserve rights to up to eight players from a pool of 20 by submitting a qualifying offer before 11:59 pm ET on July 7. Out of the eight players, a maximum of four can be considered veterans (with at least 260 regular-season professional hockey games played by the start of the 2024-25 Season). Players who have received qualifying offers cannot be traded. It is optional for teams to extend qualifying offers to players who have already signed a contract before July 7.

Teams extending a qualifying offer to a non-veteran player retain rights for one season; for veteran players or goalies with over 180 games, rights are retained until July 22. After this date, unsigned veterans become restricted free agents eligible to seek offers from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents can’t be traded. If a player accepts an offer, the team with rights has seven days to match. If unsigned by August 8, the player becomes an unrestricted free agent.

The next key dates for teams for the 2024-25 season are:

July 7 – Qualifying Offers due to Players (11:59 pm ET)

July 22 – Qualifying Offer Acceptance Period ends (11:59 pm ET)

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Karen Zehner

Credentialed Beat Writer covering the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators. Diving into the world of slap shots, penalty kills, and the game we love. [@RunwithK] on socials.

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