Jackals drop Game 3 in overtime
ELMIRA, N.Y. - The Jackals ushered in a new era in team history on Wednesday afternoon, but the excitement of a new, local ownership group was squelched with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Florida Everblades at First Arena. Elmira now trails the best-of-seven series two games to one.
Earlier in the day it was announced that the Jackals, and First Arena, had been purchased by Tom Freeman and Nathan Cook. The local businessmen are the first new owners of the team since it came into existence in 2000.
The first period was eerily similar to Game 1, and saw the Jackals control play for long periods of time. Their consistent pressure in the offensive zone created many quality chances amid the 16 shots they sent on goal. But, like last Friday, Florida goalie Jesse Deckert was on his game and stopped each attempt the Jackals sent his way. At the other end of the ice, Ian Keserich made his second start in goal for the Jackals and was equally strong during the first. He turned away the eight shots that Florida tested him with to send the game into the second deadlocked at zero.
Chaz Johnson, who had two goals in Game 2, quickly set to work to break the scoreless tie early in the second period. After taking a pass on the edge of the crease from Louie Caporusso, Johnson pushed the puck past Deckert 49 seconds into the stanza. That goal was Johnson's third of the playoffs and came on Elmira's first shot of the period. The Jackals only managed six more the rest of the frame, and the ice started to tilt in Florida's favor. The Everblades outshot the Jackals 14-7 in the second, but steady play by Keserich kept Elmira in the driver's seat heading into the third.
The Jackals' offense had a hard time generating chances because the 'Blades kept coming at them in waves in an effort to tie the game. Elmira had to kill off 40 seconds of a Florida power play to open the period, but even after navigating those waters, the Jackals remained under siege. Florida peppered the net with 19 shots in the frame, and one of the final ones ended up knotting the score. After earning a power play with 1:16 to play, Mike Ratchuk pushed a wrist shot through traffic past Keserich with 1:06 to play. Neither team dented the scoreboard in the waning moments so the scene shifted to overtime.
The sudden death period didn't have an opportunity for any drama to build because a spinning wrist shot by A.J. Jenks eluded Keserich with only 11 seconds gone by.
Keserich ended the night with 40 saves, but shouldered the loss. Elmira was 0-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return home to host Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, April 13. Get your tickets now by calling (607) 734-7825, visiting the First Arena Box Office or ordering online. Groups of 10 or more get discounts off the box office price and preferred seating based on availability. Call (607) 734-7825 to order your playoff tickets today!