JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After battling back with a dominant three-goal third period, the Swamp Rabbits fell to the Jacksonville Icemen in a heartbreaking 4-3 Valentine’s Day loss in overtime at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
BOXSCORE Neither team was able to get on the board in the first period. Both teams had close chances, but nothing was getting past the netminders on either end of the ice. Wacey Rabbit opened the scoring seven minutes into the second period after flinging the puck past Jeremy Helvig and into the net on a rebound after a scramble by the net at 13:04 mark. The Icemen received the opportunity to add another tally on the board later in the period when Bobby Lynch was awarded a penalty shot, but Lynch shot the puck wide, and the Swamp Rabbits trailed by one for the rest of the second period. Compared to the first two periods, the scoreboard filled up in the third period, with each team flying across the ice from puck drop. Early in the third period, Lynch made up for his failed penalty shot a period earlier and slid the puck past Helvig at the 1:10 mark. Kamerin Nault silenced the Jacksonville crowd thirty-seven seconds later and put Greenville on the board off a feed from Liam Pecararo, making the score 2-1. The Icemen responded right back less than a minute later with a goal from Craig Martin that looked to be goalie interference. Head coach Kevin Kerr challenged, but the call stood, and the Swamp Rabbits trailed by two again. Luke Shiplo shot the puck over the glass and into the stands, and was sent for the box for two minutes, but Cédric Lacroix only needed a minute to give the Swamp Rabbits new life and bring the score back within one. The score remained 3-2 until Liam Pecararo broke the hearts of every Jacksonville fan and tied the game with a goal. After successfully killing a penalty in the final minutes of the third period, the score remained tied and the game went to overtime. Forty-seven seconds into overtime, Lacroix got called for charging after running into goaltender Adam Carlson. Chase Lang ended the game fifty seconds later with a snipe off a pass from Mike Hedden at the 1:37 mark of overtime. Despite a strong comeback and three-goal third period, the Swamp Rabbits were bogged down by penalties at the worst moments but were able to come away with a standings point. The Swamp Rabbits travel to Charleston to take on the Stingrays on Saturday, February 15 at 6:05 p.m.