Greenville Swamp Rabbits (2-1-1) vs. Jacksonville Icemen (2-2-0)South Division SemifinalApril 29, 2023 | 7:00 PM | Kelly Cup Playoffs Game 5 | Series tied 2-2Bon Secours Wellness Arena | Greenville, SC
Referees: Alex Nomandin (26), Sam Heidemann (22)Linesmen: Brady Fagan (89), Antoine Bujold-Roux (72)
BROADCAST INFORMATIONPregame Coverage begins at 6:45PMLISTEN: Greenville Swamp Rabbits Broadcast NetworkWATCH: FloHockey Live StreamVoice of the Swamp Rabbits Mark Shelley (Play-by-Play) on the callSWAMP RABBITS VS ICEMEN SERIES
Regular Season Record:Overall: (5-4-2-0) Home:(1-3-2-0) Away: (4-1-0-0)
Last Meeting:April 28, 2023 - GAME 4: Greenville 3 vs Jacksonville 1
All-Time Playoff Record:(2-1-1)
ALL LEVEL FOR GAME 5:
For the first time in the series, the Swamp Rabbits allowed the opening goal of the game on Friday night, as the Icemen took a 1-0 to the first intermission. The lead lasted until just beyond the midway point of the second, as Joe Leahy scored his first goal as a professional to put the Rabbits level after an aggressive o-zone attack in the early moments of the period. The third period saw the Swamp Rabbits score back-to-back goals off rebounded shots, as Ben Freeman scored his second of the series and Justin Nachbaur scored his first. Ryan Bednard bounced back with a 22-save performance to earn his second win of the season. With the Rabbits win, the stage is set for a momentous Game 5 at the Well tonight.
SCOUTING THE ICEMEN:
Jacksonville’s mid-season acquisition of Matt Iacopelli has paid dividends, as the Icemen winger flashed his speed on the way to his second goal of the series on Friday night. Iacopelli has now scored his two goals on seven shots in the four games of the South Division Semifinal. Friday night, despite the loss, proved to be another valiant performance by Charles Williams. The Icemen goaltender prevented a much more drastic score line with numerous saves to deny prime Swamp Rabbits chances. In total, Williams has stopped 117 of 128 Greenville shots he has face in four straight starts.
CARTER COMES IN:
Forward Carter Souch waited his turn to experience his first Kelly Cup Playoff game on Friday night, and the rookie did not miss his opportunity to make an impact. Not only did Souch create the game-winning goal for Ben Freeman in the second period, but he also produced three shots and generated multiple quick zone entrances that led to chances for the Swamp Rabbits.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE:
Since Joe Leahy joined the Rabbits for the University of Vermont following the conclusion of the NCAA season, the rookie defenseman has been a crucial piece on the back end of Andrew Lord’s lineup. On Friday night, Leahy provided a much-needed offensive spark, scoring his first goal as a professional in the second period, tying the game and kickstarting a three-goal surge by the Greenville offense. In 10 games during the regular season, Leahy recorded four assists and a +5 rating.
PENALTY-KILL BACK ON TRACK:
In its Game 3 loss on Tuesday, Greenville allowed three power-play goals, going 5/8 on the penalty-kill. The scenes in Game 4 were vastly different. While the Rabbits were shorthanded for the fewest times in any game of the series, they recorded a perfect night with the four-man unit on the ice, going 3/3 on the kill.
Greenville’s PK has posted a Kelly Cup Playoffs fifth-best mark of 87%, allowing three goals on 23 times shorthanded.
PAVS PICKS IT UP:
After being held scoreless in Games 1 and 2, Nikita Pavlychev has found his rhythm in the last two games of the series. Home-ice has helped the Russian-born centerman record three points in two games, including an assist on Joe Leahy’s tying goal in Game 4.