GREENVILLE, S.C. – Jerry D’Amigo sealed a three-point night with an empty-net goal to punctuate a 5-2 win for the Jacksonville Icemen over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Saturday night. The loss ended a four-game winning streak for the Swamp Rabbits and came on their annual “Stick It To Cancer” Night.
Ethan Somoza got the Swamp Rabbits on the board first to kick off the emotionally charged evening in the opening minutes. At 3:02 of the first period, Carter Souch fired a shot that produced a rebound in point blank range of the net. Somoza, while falling to the ice, slammed the puck past Icemen goalie Matt Vernon to give the Swamp Rabbits a 1-0 lead (Souch and Cole Donhauser assisted). Jacksonville tied the game late in the period, and eventually rode the goal to three unanswered over the next two frames. With 2:22 left in the frame, Luc Brown took an active rebound off the leg pad of Swamp Rabbits net-minder Jacob Ingham and got just enough of it to put it past him, squaring the game at 1-1 (Garret Cockerill and Jerry D’Amigo assisted).
The Icemen struck twice in under two minutes to gain some breathing room over the Swamp Rabbits early in the second frame. With 5:44 gone by in the second, Luc Brown fired a shot toward Ingham that was initially stopped, but Christopher Brown batted the bouncing puck in mid-air past Ingham to give Jacksonville its first and only lead of the game at 2-1 (Luc Brown and Derek Lodermeier assisted). Exactly 1:21 later, Riley Fiddler-Schultz doubled the advantage from the top of the faceoff circles, slinging a puck that slid under Ingham’s leg pad to extend the Icemen lead to 3-1 at 7:05 (Matheson Iacopelli and Jerry D’Amigo assisted).
Despite sustained life from the Swamp Rabbits in the third, including Carter Souch ringing a blast off the pipe, but couldn’t cut closer to the Icemen until the final minute, looking for some late magic once again with Ingham pulled for the extra attacker. With 53 seconds left, Vernon turned the puck over behind the net and it squeaked to Nikita Pavlychev in the high slot. Pavlychev sent the puck into the wide open net, extending his point streak to six games and bringing the Swamp Rabbits within striking distance at 3-2 (Carter Souch and Tanner Eberle assisted). An icing shortly after gave the Swamp Rabbits an offensive zone draw, but they were unable to contain the zone and get their late game-tying strike. The Icemen followed with two empty-net goals, including Jerry D’Amigo’s for his third point of the night, sealing a 5-2 Icemen win.
Jacob Ingham, in his first game back with the Swamp Rabbits since December 13th, stopped 28 of 31 shots on net (11-3-0-0).
The Swamp Rabbits conclude their “three-in-three” tomorrow against their third different opponent, finishing against the Savannah Ghost Pirates. Puck drop for the weekend finale is slated for 3:05 p.m. at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Sunday’s game is “Stomper’s Birthday, presented by Big Air Trampoline Park and The Little Gym, and features a bobblehead giveaway to the first 1,000 fans, courtesy of Hall of Fame Sports Grill.
About the Greenville Swamp Rabbits …
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 the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL's LA Kings and the AHL's Ontario Reign. Greenville is a member of the ECHL, Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League.