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SWAMP RABBITS CLAW BACK FOR POINT IN SHOOTOUT DEFEAT

Saturday, March 23rd
SWAMP RABBITS CLAW BACK FOR POINT IN SHOOTOUT DEFEAT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Tanner Eberle tied the game in the final minute with the goaltender pulled, but the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, despite brilliant penalty killing in overtime, fell to the Jacksonville Icemen by a 4-3 score in a shootout. With the point gained, the Swamp Rabbits magic number to clinch a playoff spot is seven with nine games remaining.

Jacksonville jumped out to an early lead in the opening 20 minutes, and carried a 3-1 lead into the dressing room. Chris Grando started off the Icemen on the scoreboard when the Swamp Rabbits couldn’t get the puck out of the zone, leading to Logan Cockerill having a number of options inside the blue line. Cockerill found Grando trailing, and he rifled a shot past Swamp Rabbits net-minder Jacob Ingham to give the Icemen a 1-0 lead at 7:08 of the first (Cockerill and Noah Laaouan assisted). Moments later, Jerry D’Amigo doubled the Jacksonville advantage when Olivier Nadeau found him in the near post from behind the net, bringing the Icemen lead to 2-0 with 9:17 gone by (Nadeau and Jacob Panetta assisted). The Swamp Rabbits got on the board shortly after, ending a power play scoring skid over multiple games. With 8:38 left in the first, Brannon McManus fired a hard pass into net-front traffic and off of his captain, Ben Freeman. Freeman re-directed the puck past Icemen goalie Matt Vernon to slash the deficit to 2-1 (McManus and Tanner Eberle assisted). Jacksonville got the last word moments later, again containing the Greenville blue line. With 5:35 left in the first, Mark Gallant found Luc Brown inside the Swamp Rabbits zone, and from the point rocketed a shot past Ingham to push Jacksonville to a 3-1 lead after one (Gallant got his first professional point, while Julian Kislin picked up the other assist).

The Swamp Rabbits provided the only goal of the second period to come within striking distance of Jacksonville. At 8:21 of the second, Joe Leahy took a won faceoff in the offensive zone, took advantage of confusion with two Icemen falling down, and uncorked a laser through bodies past Vernon to cut the Icemen lead to 3-2 heading into the final period (Ethan Somoza and Ben Freeman assisted).

The Swamp Rabbits needed late magic to tie the game up, and got just that in the final minute. With 48 seconds remaining in the contest, and with Ingham pulled for the extra attacker, McManus took the puck up the left wall of the Icemen zone and played it to the blue line for Max Martin. Martin threaded the needle backdoor to Tanner Eberle, who dunked it behind Vernon to tie the game at 3-3 (McManus and Martin assisted). Following the tying strike, Ben Freeman was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking that the Swamp Rabbits killed off heading into overtime.

Greenville negated the remaining 3:14 of the double-minor in the extra session, and it was thought at one point that Jacksonville won the game. However, Brandon Fortunato’s goal was waved off for a blatant goaltender interference, so overtime continued. The Swamp Rabbits had to kill off even more time, with Eberle guilty for slashing, but once again rose to the challenge and killed it, forcing a shootout.

Carter Souch matched Matheson Iacopelli in the first round of the breakaway sessions, but Logan Cockerill gave Jacksonville a 2-1 lead in the second, followed by a Brannon McManus denial by Vernon. Christopher Brown was negated for Jacksonville, putting the game on Brett Kemp’s stick. Kemp was stopped by Vernon, who secure the 4-3 shootout win for the Icemen. 

Jacob Ingham stopped 35 of 38 shots, playing in just shy of the full 67 minutes of the game (16-7-2-1).

The Swamp Rabbits come back home for a brief spell of games, beginning Thursday against the Savannah Ghost Pirates. Puck drop for March 28th is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

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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.

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Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Friday, October 18th
Orlando Solar Bears @ Greenville Swamp Rabbits
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Orlando Solar Bears
ORL Orlando Solar Bears
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GVL Greenville Swamp Rabbits
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South Carolina Stingrays @ Greenville Swamp Rabbits
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Greenville Swamp Rabbits
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Savannah Ghost Pirates
Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Friday, November 1st
Savannah Ghost Pirates @ Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Puck Drops:
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Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Savannah Ghost Pirates
SAV Savannah Ghost Pirates
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Greenville Swamp Rabbits
GVL Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Bon Secours Wellness Arena

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