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Southern Professional Hockey League 12/20

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Sich, Pszenyczny, Keller Spark Seals Victory

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After winning three straight games, the Florida Seals fell just off the track in their last outing. All they needed was to see the Jacksonville Barracudas on the schedule.

One week after hanging a 9-1 beating on their in-state rivals, the Seals got two goals apiece from Rob Sich, Dan Pszenyczny and Justin Keller on the way to a 7-4 win Tuesday night at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Most of the first period belonged to the goalies, Corey Wogtech for Jacksonville and Matt Balser for the Seals. Despite out shooting the Barracudas, Florida found itself trailing when Pat Doherty collected a rebound in front of Balser and fired a backhander through a screen to the far post and over the young net minder.

The lead for the home team doubled early in the second when Doherty and Chris Bain set up Ryan Webb for a power play goal. The Seals' defense then clamped down, blocking shots and playing great team defense while waiting for the offense to start clicking.

Florida's comeback started at the 9:37 mark of the middle period when Keller's drive from the left circle was stopped by Wogtech but the rebound came out to Pszenyczny who buried the puck into the net for the power play tally. The Seals continued to push for the tying goal and they got it when Sich raced away on a clean breakaway and beat both Wogtech and the clock, firing the biscuit home with five ticks left.

The Seals' momentum continued in the first minute of the third period when Sich notched his second of the game, giving the visitors a lead they would never relinquish. Three minutes later, Pszenyczny cashed in on a turnover by Jacksonville for a short handed goal and a 4-2 Florida lead. Shortly after that, Kahlil Thomas was taken down from behind, creating a penalty shot. The veteran forward made a move and went high to the stick side of the Jacksonville goalie. Keller then capped the string of six unanswered goals when he converted a perfect pass from Sich for Florida's second man advantage score of the night and a 6-2 lead.

Jacksonville refused to go quietly, mounting a charge of their own. Jeff Angelidis scored out of a scrum in front of Balser during a delayed penalty situation. At the 14:44 mark, he netted his second of the game on a power play to bring the Cudas within 6-4.

Jacksonville thought they had cut the lead to one with a little over two minutes left but had the goal negated by the referee. They pulled Wogtech moments later but could only watch as Keller stole the puck and deposited it into the empty net with 1:11 remaining to seal the win.

Balser, playing in his sixth consecutive game, made 31 saves to post his sixth win of the season while Wogtech stopped 33 of the 39 shots he faced while suffering the loss.

The Seals have Wednesday off before beginning a stretch of three games in three days going into the Christmas holiday. Thursday night they host the Knoxville Ice Bears at the Silver Spurs Arena followed by home contests against Richmond on Friday and Pee Dee Saturday. All three game start at 7:35 p.m.
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