ELMIRA, N.Y. - The Elmira Jackals battled the Evansville IceMen in a nip-and-tuck contest at First Arena on Friday night and were rewarded for their persistence with a 4-3 win. Ludwig Karlsson scored the winner off of a faceoff with nine seconds left in regulation. The victory improved Elmira to 19-23-5 on the season.
Click here for tonight's box score.
Click here for tonight's postgame comments.
Rob Bellamy had two assists in as many games last weekend in Evansville but wanted to get into the goal column at home on Friday. Patch Alber helped give Bellamy his wish with a crisp pass to the right wing circle that Bellamy one-timed past Evansville's Mike Clemente for a 1-0 lead. The goal was Bellamy's 13th of the year and came with 4:34 gone in the game. Danny Hobbs continued to provide valuable offense for Elmira since returning from Binghamton and netted his second goal in as many games to double Elmira's lead midway through the first. Hobbs tipped Kyle Bushee's point shot for a power play goal and his 13th of the year. Evansville dented the lead moments later when Matt Schepke buzzed a slap shot past Neil Conway and sent the game into the second with Elmira leading 2-1.
Schepke was at it again early in the second with a wrist shot that went off the crossbar and straight down over the goal line to tie the game. It was his 18th goal of the year and came just 4:04 into the period. Daniel Koger continued his point-per-game pace since joining the Jackals by responding with a rebound goal 3:33 after Schepke's tally. The goal gave Koger four goals and three assists in seven games since the trade that brought him over from Toledo, and put Elmira in front at 3-2. The lead nearly made it to the third period but a Jeremy Langlois power play goal with less than a minute remaining evened the score back up. Along with a pair of assists, Langlois increased is rookie-leading point total to 42.
The third period was the definition of nailbiting with Elmira and Evansville trading scoring opportunities at each end. Some of the most dramatic moments came on the lone power play of the frame. Moments after Nik Pokulok was sent off for slashing Conway made a brilliant save on a deflected point shot to keep the IceMen at bay. Shortly after Jordan Pietrus raced in against Clemente, a former teammate at Brown, on a shorthanded breakaway only to be thwarted by a blocker save. With overtime quickly approaching both teams took a more conservative approach, but Pietrus' win of an attack-zone faceoff set the stage for Karlsson's thrilling goal. The goal gave the rookie his fourth marker in the last three contests and lifted Elmira to its seventh win in the last nine games (7-1-1).
Conway stopped 36 of 39 shots to win his fifth game for the Jackals. Elmira finished the game 1-for-2 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return to home ice on Friday, February 21 to take on the Wheeling Nailers. Join the Jackals for a Swan and Sons rally towel giveaway. 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.