ESTERO, Fla. — The Florida Everblades utilized a fast and furious start, including two goals in the opening 1:16 of the first period, and stuck it out the rest of the way in a 5-2 win over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Saturday night at Hertz Arena.
BOXSCOREThe 'Blades scored four times in the first period alone, and outshot the Swamp Rabbits 16-5, in clear revenge for their home loss the night prior. Hugo Roy, who started the scoring just nine seconds into the action, started the scoring this time on a feed from John McCarron 57 seconds in.Levko Koper snuck in behind the defense 19 seconds later, and after being initially stopped by Jeremy Helvig on the first opportunity, he stashed in the rebound to double the 'Blades' lead. Head coach Kevin Kerr called timeout immediately to settle the team down.Zach Magwood and Arvin Atwal completed the scoring for Florida in the opening period to extend the lead to 4-0.Greenville controlled the play for the rest of the way, and outscored the Everblades 2-1 from the second period onward. It took until the latter stages of the second period to get on the board, but Adam Rockwood did just that off the rush. The goal snapped a 22-game goal drought.The Swamp Rabbits appeared to cut the lead in half on an extended sequence. With a minute of puck possession in their pocket, Dylan MacPherson unleashed a rocket from the point with traffic in front. However, with Michael Pelech planted at the lip of the crease, the goal was waved off and called back for goaltender interference.Patrick Bajkov had a chance of his own to score on a scramble in the second period, but Florida netminder Ken Appleby kept the Swamp Rabbits off the board with key saves.Justin Auger put the game out of reach with a goal at the 12:10 mark of the third period. The Swamp Rabbits responded to that goal with one of their own, a power play goal from Nathan Perkovich, who completed a four-point weekend against his former club. Liam Pecararo and Matt Marcinew bagged the assists.Helvig stopped 15 of the final 16 shots he faced, and 27 of 32 for the game in the losing effort. The Swamp Rabbits earned a split against their South Division rival.The Greenville Swamp Rabbits will celebrate the holiday break before getting back to action on Friday, December 27 for Ugly Sweater Night. For tickets, go to SwampRabbits.com.
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