GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits fell on Sunday afternoon to the Orlando Solar Bears, 4-1 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Orlando salvaged the three-game series with back-to-back wins on Saturday and Sunday after Greenville skated to an 8-2 win on Thursday night.
In the first period, Orlando grabbed the early advantage courtesy of Tyler bird at 12:03 mark. On a quick transition play, Bird raced along the right wing and beat Greenville goaltender John Lethemon short side to provide the Solar Bears a 1-0 lead. Shots in the opening 20 minutes were 9-6 in favor of Greenville.
In the middle frame, Orlando doubled their advantage to 2-0 at 1:36. Nikita Pavlychev found a loose puck in the slot and squeezed it through Lethemon’s seven-hole. Jake Coughler tallied his sixth goal of the season 15:37 to extend his club’s lead at 15:37. From the bottom of the right circle, Tristin Langan slid a perfect pass across for Coughler in the slot to blast into the net.
Down 3-0 into the third period, Greenville pressed and broke through offensively on Orlando goaltender Michael Lackey. At 9:40, Patrick Bajkov fired home a centering pass from Matt Bradley to cut Greenville’s deficit to two. Despite great looks late in the third period on a 6-on-4 power play, the Swamp Rabbits were unable to pull closer.
Aaron Luchuk found the empty net with 1:22 remaining in regulation to solidify a 4-1 final for Orlando. Final shots totaled to 38-24 in favor of Greenville. The Swamp Rabbits record shifts to 9-6-5-2 through 22 games to start the 2020-21 regular season.
The Greenville Swamp Rabbits will return to action on Friday, February 19 to kick off a three-game road set with the Indy Fuel. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m.
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Acquired by Spire Sports + Entertainment (SS+E) in 2020, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits hockey team have been providing family friendly, live entertainment at Bon Secours Wellness Arena since 2010. Formerly the Greenville Road Warriors, the Swamp Rabbits are the highest level professional minor league franchise in South Carolina. The Swamp Rabbits are proud affiliates of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. Greenville is a member of the ECHL, Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League. Since the conclusion of the 2019-20 NHL Season, 678 former ECHL players have debuted in the NHL. Nine former Greenville Road Warriors/Swamp Rabbits have later made their NHL debut