GREENVILLE, S.C. — In front of 5,290 screaming fans, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits rode the crowd's energy and topped the Atlanta Gladiators 5-3 on Saturday night at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The game capped a stretch of six games in the last eight days.
BOXSCOREA combination of strong goaltending from Garrett Bartus (31 saves), a potent offensive showing with five goals on 36 shots, disciplined play, and a power play that rose to the occasion (2-for-5) gave Greenville an exciting atmosphere at The Well.The Swamp Rabbits scored three of the game's last four goals en route to victory, after the game was tied 2-2 after one period of play.Dylan Vander Esch gave Greenville a lead that would never waver. His eleventh goal of the season started with a strip steal of Vytal Côté at the blue line and he danced a backhander over the outstretched leg pad of Sean Bonar to give the Swamp Rabbits the 3-2 lead.Three minutes later, Brendan Harms doubled the lead at 4-2 with a massive scramble in front. With Austen Brassard and Michael Pelech digging away for the loose puck on a point shot, Harms brushed the puck home at 14:44.While Atlanta got within one thanks to a goal from Joseph Widmar early in the third period, the Swamp Rabbits responded with lockdown defense, and a tally on an Atlanta mistake. With Nolan LaPorte in the penalty box for interference, Stephen Pierog deflected an Adam Larkin point shot past Bonar to cap the scoring.It was Pierog's first goal in 20 games.Both teams traded tallies in the first period. Tyler Bird got the scoring started for Greenville after mashing home a centering pass from Will Merchant, but that goal was nearly immediately responded to by Branden Troock, who was the recipient of a pinch at the offensive blue line by Olivier Galipeau.The Swamp Rabbits' power play, which struck twice, got its first taste of success three minutes after Troock's goal. Larkin uncorked a laser from the right point that sizzled the top shelf and re-established the lead. However, just like last time, Atlanta responded with a goal from Alex Overhardt, to tie the game at two.For the last six games, the Swamp Rabbits have not given up a power play goal, and on this night, only took one penalty.Four Swamp Rabbits posted multi-point games, including Larkin, Harms, Bird, and Thomas Ebbing.After a well-deserved week off, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits will take on the Jacksonville Icemen on the road for the first time since Thanksgiving. Catch all of the action on the Swamp Rabbits Broadcast Network, or on ECHL.TV.
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