NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – All bets were off in the second period as a handful of players were awarded penalties, including game misconducts for Jade Miller and Zach Berzolla. The Jacksonville Icemen (15-8-1-1) toppled the South Carolina Stingrays (9-12-2-0) by a final score of 5-2 on Sunday at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Jacksonville opened the scoring off a wrist shot from Vladislav Mikhalchuk a minute and 48 seconds into the opening period. Sustained pressure from the Icemen allowed Christopher Brown to pull the puck away behind the end line and find Mikhalchuk by himself in front of the net for the 1-0 lead.
On the second power play of the afternoon, Andrew Cherniwchan finessed his way down to the end line and back in front of the net, fighting his way through multiple Jacksonville sticks and sliding his 10th goal of the season past Charles Williams.
Jacksonville got three back in the second period, opening with a missile from Croix Evingson on the first power play of the contest from the point. Abbott Girduckis fed Evingson who wound up and unleashed a one-timer past Hunter Shepard.
Jake Elmer added one midway through the second frame, using his patience on the right circle to beat a sliding South Carolina defender, placing one perfectly past Shepard for the 3-1 lead.
The Stingrays fought back with one of their own a minute and a half later as Ben Holmstrom set a pick for Jake Coleman who netted his second of the season on a snipe past a screened Williams, cutting the lead back to one.
With seven seconds left on the sixth Jacksonville power play of the period, Brandon Fortunato fired a puck on net, and with help from a Ben Hawerchuk redirection, the Icemen netted their fourth of the game.
As time wound down in the second period, Carter Cowlthorp and Jacob Panetta started jawing at one another before Hawerchuk delivered a massive hit on Cowlthorp, prompting an all-out brawl. Miller and Berzolla were ejected as three different fights broke out, prompting a Stingrays power play.
Mikhalchuk iced the contest 4:48 into the third period with his second of the contest. The native of Belarus shed his defender, set up in front of the net, and touched a shot over the shoulder of Shepard off an excellent feed from Ara Nazarian.
Hunter Shepard picked up 25 saves in the loss while Williams picked up his first win against the Stingrays this season.
The Stingrays return to action on the other side of the holiday break against the Jacksonville Icemen on Sunday, December 26th at the North Charleston Coliseum.
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