NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - On the night of his 22nd birthday Jackals goalie Maxime Clermont found himself locked in a tight goaltender's duel with the top netminder in the ECHL - Jeff Jakaitis. Jakaitis was just good enough to lift South Carolina to a 2-0 win over the Jackals on Tuesday night. The loss dropped Elmira to 9-16-3 on the season.
Click here for tonight's box score.
Elmira was quick to put the pressure on the 'Rays off of the opening faceoff and registered the first three shots of the game. Ludwig Karlsson had the best chance to dent the scoreboard first when a Mathieu Gagnon point shot created a juicy rebound in front of Stingrays' goalie Jeff Jakaitis. Karlsson got a good shot off of that chance, but Jakaitis answered with a pad save to keep the game scoreless. At the other end of the ice Clermont stopped 13 of the 14 shots the 'Rays sent his way, but Zach Currie nudged a rebound home at 16:41 to open the scoring. Jeremy Price created the chance off of a faceoff win with a hard, low point shot.
Elmira was behind the eight ball to start the second period as South Carolina took 1:49 of carryover power play time into the frame. The Jackals were able to hold the fort and stay within a goal when the teams returned to full strength. Elmira couldn't sustain the momentum from the successful penalty kill, though, and South Carolina was able to double its lead as a result. Derrrick Pallis unleashed a slap shot from the right point that was stopped by Clermont, but Peter Boyd dunked home the rebound for his ninth goal of the year. The Jackals ramped up the attack from there and managed 11 shots against Jakaitis, but couldn't put one past him.
The Jackals threw everything and the kitchen sink at Jakaitis in the third period. They were dominant territorially and in shots as they tried to battle out of the two-goal hole. Elmira's effort produced 16 shots on goal and limited the Stingrays to just four. Jakaitis was at his best when his team needed him and turned away each shot he faced to preserve his third shutout of the year.
Clermont stopped 28 shots but shouldered the loss. Elmira was 0-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return to home ice on Saturday, January 4 to take on the Wheeling Nailers. Get here early to be one of the first 1,000 fans through the door to get your free M & T Bank Thundersticks! Don't forget that groups of 10 or more who book in advance receive discounts off the box office price and preferred seating based on availability. Call 607-734-7825 to get your group outing booked.