JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After finishing 17-8 at home during the regular season, the Jacksonville Icemen had to lean on the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena crowd, down 2-0 to the Florida Everblades in the first round of the ECHL playoffs.
They turned the volume up and the Icemen came away with a big 4-3 win on Thursday night over Florida to cut the defecit to 2-1 in the series.
Game 4 is at home Friday night at 7 PM.
After falling down 1-0 after the first 20 minutes, Icemen head coach Jason Christie's message to his team in the locker room was simple.
"We played well in the first period because of how hard we worked," said Christie. "We still had opportunities, we out shot them, it was just a rebound goal there to give them the lead. I wanted to focus on how hard we played and kept that focus going."
That focus led to two second period goals by Garrett Ladd and Jacob Cedarholm, giving the Icemen a 2-1 lead going into the final period.
Florida would even the score just 90 seconds into the 3rd but two goals by Maxime Fortier in the span of just 13 seconds sealed the win for the Icemen.
"I guess it is like a flood kind of," said Fortier who was the star of the game. "The puck was right there and you have to make a play so I got lucky. I got a good bounce in my favor and we scored so that was good."
"That's why we play hard all year," said head coach Jason Christie. "Those four games in five nights earlier in the year make us used to it. But look at our fans, our fans were unbelievable tonight. Hopefully tomorrow we get more in here too. It was a great crowd on Thursday and Friday we are looking for a good turnout and be ready to go."