Written By | Brandon Carlini
JACKSONVILLE, FL October 13, 2018 – As I walk inside the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, I can’t help be extremely excited as it was the second time setting foot inside the arena. Walking out in the tunnel the zambonis come out, I saw a huge crowd of excited fans ready for the the Jacksonville Iceman to take the ice. As I turned to my left I see a group of kids carrying a large American flag to the ice for the national anthem. They made the announcement for everyone stand and remove their hats as they did the national anthem. When they finished, it was game time!
Puck drops and the body checks just start flying left to right, as the ICEMEN are putting the pressure on early. To no avail they get a bad bounce and MIKHAIL BERDIN (goalie) couldn’t make the save in time, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS are up 1-0. The ICEMEN continue to put pressure on but walk away empty by the end of the first period.
The second period starts and we’re (ICEMEN) still putting on the pressure, but it is getting more physical as time rolls. Finally at 12:28 into the period the ICEMEN tie it up with a goal from BLAKE KESSEL(the brother of PHIL KESSEL of the PENGUINS)! The crowd goes CRAZY as sirens go off. As the game continues both goalies makes so me great saves to hold it at 1-1 as the end of the second period ends.
As the puck drops the ICEMEN start a little sluggish and it showed. :34 seconds into the 3rd period the STINGRAYS score to make the score 2-1. A loud roar of boos crowd the arena as the ICEMEN wake up. No more than a minute later GARET HUNT ties the game with a beauty into the net, 2-2 as the crowd erupts! The pressure has picked up on both sides, as they seem to get more physical. As the period goes on COLTON VELOSO gets called for slashing. It doesn’t seem to affect the ICEMEN cause they go up for the first time of the night with a short-handed goal by CODY FOWLIE. At this point the STINGRAYS look exhausted and just out of sync.
The ICEMEN have control as they score an insurance goal by ALEXIS D’AOUST. The crowd has exploded with excitement as the STINGRAYS pulled the goalie for as last ditch effort to get a goal but it was a no go. As the finale seconds come off the clock the crowd has jumped up and down in celebration for the win at the home opener for the ICEMEN. I couldn’t believe how much fun this game had been. Not being able to take the lead until the 3rd and then keep it made for a great entertaining night. You can guarantee I’ll be back!