BY: Cristiano Simonetta, Catherine Morrison
JACKSONVILLE, FL - The Savannah Ghost Pirates (12-16-3-1) picked up their third consecutive victory with a 4-3 win over the Jacksonville Icemen (16-12-3-0) at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday night.
Bryce Martin, who was playing in his first game with the Ghost Pirates after being acquired via trade from the Adirondack Thunder earlier this week, wasted no time with his new team and scored the first goal of the game at 2:11. Martin re-directed a centering pass from Mike Ferraro past Icemen goaltender Michael Houser for his first goal of the season and third of his career (43 pro games).
Six minutes later, Jacksonville received a huge opportunity when Sebastian Vidmar was assessed a double minor for high sticking, sending the Icemen to a four-minute power play. The Ghost Pirates successfully killed off the first half of the penalty, but Ivan Chukarov tied the game for the Icemen at 8:39.
Later in the first, Savannah was placed on the power play after Julian Kislin took a tripping penalty. Vidmar got his revenge, scoring his sixth goal of the season at 16:14.
Jacksonville started the second period strongly and tied the game 2-2 off a goal by Christopher Brown at 5:27. It seemed like Jacksonville had all the momentum later in the frame as Carter-Long was penalized for interference.
However, Savannah’s penalty kill unit struck with a shorthanded goal at 14:36 as Joe Fleming buried an odd-man chance. Vidmar recorded a primary assist on Fleming’s third goal of the year. Less than two minutes later, Alex Swetlikoff scored his fourth goal of 2023-24 at 16:25, bolstering Savannah’s lead with an insurance marker.
Jacksonville pushed hard in the third period but was stymied by Ghost Pirates goaltender Michael Bullion, who made several great saves to hold Savannah’s lead. At 17:52, Olivier Nadeau scored with the net empty to make it a 4-3 game.
However, Savannah held on until the final buzzer, taking two points from the Icemen. Bullion made 28 saves for his ninth win this season; the Anchorage, AK, native has won five straight ECHL starts. Savannah went 1-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Savannah will face the Icemen on Saturday, January 6, at 7:00 pm at Enmarket Arena. For ticket information, go to GhostPiratesHockey.com!