DULUTH, Ga. — The Greenville Swamp Rabbits got an incredible goaltending performance from Kyle Hayton in his Greenville debut, but it was not enough to stave off a hot Atlanta Gladiators club. The Glads got an insurance goal 90 seconds into the third period and held onto the lead en route to a 3-2 win over Greenville on Friday night at the Infinite Energy Arena.
BOXSCOREHayton made 40 saves in his Greenville debut after being nabbed off of waivers from the Allen Americans. He made several sensational saves in the game, including an unreal falling blocker save on Matt Lane, two shorthanded back-to-back saves in the second period, and 11 saves in the third period.Hayton held on during a siege, having forced 43 shots on goal, with double-digit shots in all three periods.Lane broke through with an insurance goal and got the better of the Swamp Rabbits 1:29 into the third period. After the Swamp Rabbits couldn't clear the zone a few times, Zach Magwood threaded a cross-seam pass to Lane for the eventual game-winning goal.Austen Brassard's power play goal late in the action got Greenville within a goal, their first and only in six opportunities. Greenville also ended up with a 6-on-4 opportunity in the final two minutes of the third period, but Atlanta forced the Rabbits into two costly late penalties to close out the game down two men.Atlanta and Greenville traded goals in the first period. Derek Nesbitt struck first at 13:15, and Jake Bolton responded five minutes later.The Glads' lead was established late in the second period after a breakdown in the neutral zone. Tyson Fawcett broke away on a neutral zone steal and was initially stopped by Hayton. The rebound slid by every Swamp Rabbits defender and right to Avery Peterson, who stashed home the rebound to give Atlanta the lead for good.The Swamp Rabbits' penalty kill remained perfect for the third consecutive game at 7-for-7.The home-and-home with the Atlanta Gladiators concludes on Saturday, March 2 at 7:00 p.m., plus catch USC and Clemson in a hockey showdown at 4:30. Tickets are available at SwampRabbits.com.
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