A sweet deal with arrived Saturday evening for the Jacksonville Icemen.
Credit the assists to the Florida Everblades — and to Mickey Mouse.
The Icemen, seeded third in the ECHL South Division, will start their Kelly Cup playoffs with unanticipated house benefit at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on Thursday in opposition to the 2nd-seeded Atlanta Gladiators.
Right after beating the Orlando Photo voltaic Bears 3-1 in Saturday night’s frequent time finale, the Icemen will perform not just the opener but the initially four game titles of the Kelly Cup opening-round series against the Gladiators in Jacksonville.
That is suitable: Even though the Gladiators are seeded higher than the Icemen, Jacksonville in outcome receives household ice advantage for the sequence, and in concept could remove the Gladiators in a sweep with no ever setting their skates in Atlanta.
The ECHL cited arena scheduling conflicts for the move. Atlanta’s Gas South Arena is booked from April 21-24 for Disney on Ice, adopted by a a few-day Christian ministry celebration, the Orange Convention, from April 27-29.
The Everblades, so usually a nemesis for the Icemen in the past, indirectly lent them a encouraging stick on Saturday night time. Florida beat Atlanta 5-3 in their time finale, overtaking the Gladiators for the No. 1 seed and pushing them down a notch into the matchup against Jacksonville. Had Atlanta gained, the Icemen would have alternatively experienced to participate in from the Everblades, with the Estero club receiving home ice benefit.
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When do the Icemen playoffs start out?
Match 1: Atlanta at Jacksonville, 7 p.m. Thursday, April 21
Video game 2: Atlanta at Jacksonville, 7 p.m. Friday, April 22
Video game 3: Atlanta at Jacksonville, 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 27
Game 4: Atlanta at Jacksonville, 7 p.m. Thursday, April 28
Video game 5 (if vital): Jacksonville at Atlanta, 3 p.m. Sunday, May possibly 1
Match 6 (if vital): Jacksonville at Atlanta, 7 p.m. Monday, Might 2
Sport 7 (if necessary): Jacksonville at Atlanta, 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 4
Icemen freeze Photo voltaic Bears in finale
Turning position: Travis Howe scored the activity-winner late in the initially time period to carry the Icemen past the Orlando Photo voltaic Bears 3-1 in Saturday night’s time finale at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
A few stars: 1. Howe, Jacksonville (1 intention). 2. Ara Nazarian, Jacksonville (just one aim). 3. Jacob Panetta, Jacksonville (a single assist).
Penalty box: The groups mixed for just 1 penalty, a hooking small towards Howe, prior to a bought-out crowd introduced at 8,936.
All around the rink: Abbott Girduckis additional an empty-internet intention in the closing minute for the Icemen (40-27-3-2), sealing the team’s 40th victory of the season. … Goaltender Francois Brassard, named initially-team All-ECHL this week, saved 15 pictures. … The Photo voltaic Bears (33-31-6-1) overlook the playoffs, edged out for fourth by the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.
Up next: The Icemen start the second Kelly Cup playoff journey in franchise heritage at 7 p.m. Thursday within their dwelling arena in opposition to the Atlanta Gladiators.
Clayton Freeman covers significant college sporting activities and much more for the Florida Moments-Union. Stick to him on Twitter at @CFreemanJAX.
This posting originally appeared on Florida Moments-Union: ECHL hockey: Jacksonville Icemen playoff routine established after beating Orlando