DULUTH, Ga. — The Greenville Swamp Rabbits picked up a character win on Wednesday night. Down 2-1 in the third period, the Swamp Rabbits scored twice in 90 seconds to tie the game, and then take the lead, one they would never relinquish, in a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Gladiators at the Infinite Energy Arena. It extended Atlanta's losing streak to 10, and ended Greenville's at three.
BOXSCOREJohno May started the comeback train at the 13:16 mark of the second period, on a centering pass on a misplay by the Gladiators' defense. Adam Larkin pinched in from the right point and found May in front, who snapped a shot past a fallen Colton Phinney to tie the game. No defender for the Glads could be found anywhere near May, who scored his 15th goal of the season.Will Merchant completed the comeback 90 seconds later for Greenville. After cycling the puck in the offensive zone, Brendan Harms and Michael Pelech helped ferry the puck to Merchant, who, with Phinney down, elevated a shot into the open cage to give the Swamp Rabbits the lead.Chris Nell was forced to make key saves down the stretch to close out the win, including a flex pad stop on Brett McKenzie with 30 seconds left, to preserve the win. Nell picked up the victory with 30 saves, his sixth as a Swamp Rabbit this season, and seventh of the season overall.Atlanta and Greenville played to a 1-1 tie early in the second period. The Glads' first power play opportunity connected just nine seconds into the first man advantage. A breakdown on the faceoff in the defensive zone led to a pass rinkwide from David Mazurek to McKenzie for the goal, his seventh of the season, and third against Greenville this season. Greenville tied the game early in the second. After Thomas Ebbing had just missed on a clear-cut scoring chance seconds early, a cycle shift by the Swamp Rabbits made the magic happen. Austen Brassard picked the puck off the wall after a chip, and Chad Duchesne found Larkin at the right point, whose shot was deflected by Ebbing and past Phinney to tie the game at one.The Gladiators turned the tides early in the third. On the opening shift just 32 seconds in, an innocent point shot from Olivier Galipeau was tipped in front by newcomer Nick Bligh to give the Glads a 2-1 lead. It would be a lead that would not stand.The Swamp Rabbits had ample opportunity to get on the board first. They forced four first-period power plays, including a span of one minute of 5-on-3 time, but could not score. Greenville ended up with five power play chances on the night.The Greenville Swamp Rabbits will host two games before the holiday break, both against the South Carolina Stingrays. Tickets are available for both games at SwampRabbits.com.
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