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EBERLE’S BIG NIGHT EVENS SERIES AT 2-2

Sunday, April 28th
EBERLE’S BIG NIGHT EVENS SERIES AT 2-2

ORLANDO, Fla. – Tanner Eberle scored twice as part of a three-point night, pacing four other mutli-point performers in leading the Greenville Swamp Rabbits to a 5-3 win over the Orlando Solar Bears in Game 4 of the South Division Semifinals on Saturday night. The late night win gives the Swamp Rabbits another split of the series, now tied at 2-2 coming into Game 5 on Sunday.

Eberle’s night started 72 second into the game when he finished a wrap around from behind the Orlando net, squeaking a puck under the leg of Orlando goalie Evan Fitzpatrick to give the Swamp Rabbits a 1-0 lead (Ben Freeman and Max Martin assisted). Greenville earned their first power play moments later and received some breathing room from Colton Young. At 6:58, Brett Kemp zipped into the Orlando zone, and found Young between the hashmarks from behind the net. Young rifled his shot past Fitzpatrick’s blocker, doubling the Swamp Rabbits lead to 2-0 (Kemp and Brannon McManus assisted).

Spencer Kersten halved the Swamp Rabbits lead past the midway point of the second period. With 6:54 left in the second, Darik Angeli to a hit to make a pass to Kersten at the Swamp Rabbits blue line, dishing to Kersten in stride. Kersten fired a laser under the blocker of Swamp Rabbits net-minder Luke Richardson, putting Orlando down 2-1 (Angeli and Alex Frye assisted). Eberle hit paydirt again in the final minute of the second, re-establishing the Greenville multi-goal lead. With 31 seconds remaining, Eberle took a Colton Young pass, pirouetted off of contact from an aggressor, hacked the puck by another attacker, and rifled a shot from the slot area past Fitzpatrick to push the Swamp Rabbits to a 3-1 lead heading into the third period (Young and Josh McKechney assisted).

The Swamp Rabbits came out blazing in the third, beginning with Ethan Somoza’s first of the playoffs. Just 2:05 into the final period, Brannon McManus created a two-on-one break, and dished to Somoza past a diving defender. Somoza faked forehand and finished back-hand off the back bar to balloon the Swamp Rabbits lead to 4-1. Ben Freeman followed up with a second Swamp Rabbits power play goal, stuffing a rebound through the blocker side of Fitzpatrick to expand the score to 5-1 for Greenville at 4:43 of the third (Eberle and Kemp assisted). Orlando found quick offense, scoring twice in 46 seconds to make it a two-goal game again. Spencer Kersten netted his second of the game with a shot that whizzed under the bar on the power play from the right side of the zone, making it a 5-2 hockey game at 8:56 (Marc-Andre Gaudet and Evan Fitzpatrick assisted). Within the minute, Jaydon Dureau found Jesse Jacques from behind the net in the slot area, and Jacques, uncontested, finished a try past Richardson to cut the Swamp Rabbits lead to 5-3 with 10:18 left in the game. The Swamp Rabbits continued to weather Orlando’s pressure, and came out with a 5-3 win to even the series at 2-2.

Luke Richardson, making his first start of the series in his second appearance, stopped 33 of 36 shots for the win (2-0-0).

The Swamp Rabbits look to break a 2-2 series and continue the South Division Semifinals with Game 5 tomorrow night at the Kia Center, with puck drop slated for 7:00 p.m. EST. 

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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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