02/24/2024

STL:

1

DET:

6

Final

MTL:

3

NJD:

4

Final

TBL:

4

NYI:

2

Final

NYR:

2

PHI:

1

Final

WSH:

2

FLA:

3

Final

TOR:

4

COL:

3

Final

VGK:

3

OTT:

4

Final

BOS:

2

VAN:

3

Final

DAL:

2

CAR:

1

Final

CGY:

6

EDM:

3

Final

MIN:

5

SEA:

2

Final

NSH:

4

SJS:

2

Final

ANA:

2

LAK:

3

Final

02/25/2024

TBL:

4

NJD:

1

Final

PHI:

6

PIT:

7

Final

CAR:

2

BUF:

3

Final

NYR:

2

CBJ:

4

Final

DET:

3

CHI:

2

Final

ARI:

3

WPG:

4

Final

NSH:

4

ANA:

2

Final

02/26/2024

OTT:

3

WSH:

6

Final

NYI:

3

DAL:

2

Final

LAK:

2

EDM:

4

Final

BOS:

3

SEA:

4

Final

02/27/2024

WSH:

3

DET:

8

Final

BUF:

2

FLA:

3

Final

ARI:

2

MTL:

4

Final

TBL:

2

PHI:

6

Final

VGK:

6

TOR:

2

Final

CAR:

2

MIN:

2

3

12:41

OTT:

1

NSH:

3

3

15:19

STL:

2

WPG:

3

3

13:56

LAK:

0

CGY:

0

2

14:41

DAL:

1

COL:

2

1

02:30

PIT:

0

VAN:

0

1

20:00

NJD:

0

SJS:

0

Final

02/28/2024

CBJ:

0

NYR:

0

07:00 ET

STL:

0

EDM:

0

08:30 ET

02/29/2024

VGK:

0

BOS:

0

07:00 ET

CAR:

0

CBJ:

0

07:00 ET

NYI:

0

DET:

0

07:00 ET

MTL:

0

FLA:

0

07:00 ET

BUF:

0

TBL:

0

07:00 ET

ARI:

0

TOR:

0

07:00 ET

WPG:

0

DAL:

0

08:00 ET

MIN:

0

NSH:

0

08:00 ET

COL:

0

CHI:

0

09:00 ET

PIT:

0

SEA:

0

10:00 ET

LAK:

0

VAN:

0

10:00 ET

ANA:

0

SJS:

0

10:30 ET

03/01/2024

ARI:

0

OTT:

0

07:00 ET

PHI:

0

WSH:

0

07:00 ET

NJD:

0

ANA:

0

10:00 ET

ECHL: Jacksonville Icemen Weekend Woes

Photo Credit: Andrew Fielder for Inside The Rink

The Jacksonville Icemen’s struggles continued Saturday evening as the team lost their third straight game. After a hard-fought battle with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Friday night, the Icemen sought retribution in Saturday’s rematch, though the team would be unsuccessful in crossing the finish line. Now 4-5-2 and 10th in the conference standings, the Icemen will need to find solutions to lingering problems as they head to the road for a short trip to take on the Atlanta Gladiators.

The Rundown:

Greenville wasted no time getting on the board Saturday evening, as Nikita Pavlychev scored just 5:10 into the first period. Pavlychev’s goal would be the only goal scored in the first frame and was scored on the powerplay. 

Greenville kept the pressure on, taking a 3-0 lead in the middle frame. Forward Anthony Beauchamp added to the Swamp Rabbit’s lead just 11 seconds into the period. Later into the frame, Defenseman Max Martin picked up the 3-0 tally on the powerplay at 12:42. Martin’s goal was the second powerplay goal allowed by the Icemen on Saturday night, with the Swamp Rabbits ending the evening going 2-for-5 on the man advantage.

The Icemen took to the ice in the third period, looking to pull off the comeback. Just 38 seconds in, forward Matheson Iacopelli picked up his seventh goal of the season to make it a 3-1 game. The Swamp Rabbits responded only a couple of minutes later, with a 4-1 goal scored by forward Jake Smith. Like Friday’s match-up, the response by Greenville didn’t unnerve the Icemen. Forward Brendan Harris would make it a 4-2 game with 14:15 left to play, staying consistent with the comeback effort. Forward Garrett Van Wyhe contributed a goal of his own to pull the Icemen within one halfway through the final period. Though the Icemen got numerous chances to tie up the game, the Swamp Rabbits would add the final nail in the coffin with a 5-3 goal scored with just over five minutes left to play.

Room For Improvement:

Not unlike games prior, the Icemen played a pretty complete game against Greenville on Saturday evening. The Icemen were only outshot in the third period, posting 40 shots on net compared to Greenville’s 27. The team didn’t shy away from a physical game and did well to keep the pressure on, even when playing from behind. The inability to convert shots to goals is more of a reflection of the caliber of play the Swamp Rabbits goaltenders brought to the table rather than a representation of the Icemen’s scoring chops. 

Not to sound like a broken record, but where the Icemen have a dire need to improve is on the powerplay. Though they did convert on an early powerplay in the third period with Iacopelli’s goal, the team was afforded five different man-advantage opportunities. In a game only lost by two goals, the ineffectiveness of the special teams play leaves goals, and possibly wins, up for grabs. On the opposite side of the puck, they allowed two goals on the penalty kill. Where their 5-on-5 play shines, the lack of defending and the lack of converting chances when up or down a man is a glaring problem when finishing the job.

Now 11 games into the season, the Icemen sit in fifth place in the division with only 10 points. You certainly can’t play your way into the playoffs early in a season, but you can definitely play your way out of them early. With 10 points, the Icemen are 12 points back from the division and conference-leading Greenville Swamp Rabbits. That is an uphill climb that could be getting out of hand before the team knows it, and it could otherwise be avoided if the team finds a way to get the special teams to play up to par with the play of their even-strength efforts. As it stands now, the Icemen are 16th in the league, with a powerplay conversion percentage of 18.2%. The penalty kill sits in the bottom ranks of the league at #26, sporting just a 75.8% penalty kill rate. If the team can find a way to adjust and get more shots through when given man-advantage opportunities, they have the potential to course correct. However, those adjustments need to be made sooner rather than later.

The Icemen are in Atlanta for a contest with the Gladiators on Tuesday, November 21st. They will return home for Wednesday’s game against the South Carolina Stingrays.

Click here to view the full game gallery by our Icemen photographer Andrew Fielder

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis is a freelance hockey reporter covering the ECHL's Jacksonville Icemen for Inside The Rink and the Vancouver Canucks for The Canuck Way. His work has been featured on Hockey of Tomorrow and The Daily Faceoff, and can be found on Twitter/X @FromTheDrewLine.

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