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GAME PREVIEW: South Division Semifinals Game 3

Friday, April 26th
GAME PREVIEW: South Division Semifinals Game 3

GAME PREVIEW

2024 KELLY CUP PLAYOFFS: SOUTH DIVISION SEMIFINALS GAME 3

Series Tied 1-1

  • Game 1 (April 21, 2024): Orlando 1, Greenville 0 (OT)
  • Game 2 (April 22, 2024): Greenville 4, Orlando 2
  • Game 3 (April 26, 2024): Greenville @ Orlando
  • Game 4 (April 27, 2024): Greenville @ Orlando
  • Game 5 (April 28, 2024): Greenville @ Orlando
  • Game 6* (April 30, 2024): Orlando @ Greenville
  • Game 7* (May 1, 2024) Orlando @ Greenville
    *if necessary
WHERE WE LEFT OFF: SOUTH DIVISION SEMIFINALS GAME 2 (4/22/24)
TEAM1st2nd3rdOTFSHPP
ORLANDO SOLAR BEARS002--2230/3
GREENVILLE SWAMP RABBITS022--4391/4

Tanner Eberle broke a deadlock in a wild third period to headline the Greenville Swamp Rabbits Game 2 win over the Orlando Solar Bears by a 4-2 score on Monday night. The win for the Swamp Rabbits splits the series at 1-1 heading into the next three games in Orlando this weekend.

GAME RECAP

2024 KELLY CUP PLAYOFFS SOUTH DIVISION SEMIFINALS (BEST-OF-7)
TEAMRECORDPPPKLEADING SCORER(S)
ORL1-1-00.0% (0/5)85.7% (6/7)Spencer Kersten (2gp, 2goals)
GVL1-0-114.3% (1/7)100% (5/5)Josh McKechney (2gp, 1g-2ast-3pts)

NOTES AND NUMBERS

EVEN STEVEN: With the win in Game 2 against Orlando on Monday, the Swamp Rabbits evened the South Division Semifinals at 1-1 transitioning the series to Orlando. The win puts the Swamp Rabbits at 8-5 all-time in Game 2 of any playoff series, with five of those wins coming to tie the series at 1-1.

RICHIE RICH: Coming in relief in Game 2 for the last 16:15 of regulation was Luke Richardson, who staved off all 11 shots he saw to anchor the win late for the Swamp Rabbits. Coming in when he did, Richardson was in net for the game-winning goal from Tanner Eberle 51 seconds after the Solar Bears tied the game at 2-2, making him the goaltender of record and therefore giving him his first professional playoff win in three games played over the last two playoffs.

TRIFECTA OF FIRSTS: Swamp Rabbits forward Josh McKechney played into an incredibly unique trend on Monday night. His goal to put the Swamp Rabbits up 1-0 in the 2nd Period was the first goal of the Kelly Cup Playoffs for Greenville, but isn’t the only time he opened up the scoring entries for a new group of games. In fact, McKechney had the first goal of the 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs, the first goal of 2024, and the first goal of the 2023-24 campaign all the way back on October 21st. Good things generally happen when McKechney scores: the Swamp Rabbits were 16-3-0-0 in the 19 games he ignited the goal lamp in the regular season.

THAT’S OFFENSIVE: Monday’s win was another instance recently where the Swamp Rabbits responded to a shutout loss with a barrage of goals, following a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat in Game 1 with a 4-2 win on 39 shots. Prior to that, the Swamp Rabbits ended the season with a 5-1 win on 34 shots against Savannah having previously been bested 3-0 the night before, and at the end of March, Greenville dropped five on Jacksonville in a 5-4 win on 39 shots after the Icemen blanked them 1-0 the week before.

KILLJOY: ...but clearly not because the Swamp Rabbits won. It’s because, once again, the Swamp Rabbits penalty kill continues to shine, and it started off the postseason on the right foot in Games 1 and 2 of the South Division Semifinals. Greenville held Orlando to an 0/2 count in Game 1 and 0/3 in Game 2, the latter including a five-minute major power play for the Solar Bears. That puts the Swamp Rabbits current killing streak to 19 in a row over seven consecutive games, including the final five of the regular season. The Swamp Rabbits finished the 2023-24 campaign tied for 7th in the “Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League” at 81.7%    

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