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SOLAR BEARS TAKE GAME 1 IN OVERTIME

Sunday, April 21st
SOLAR BEARS TAKE GAME 1 IN OVERTIME

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Spencer Kersten ended a marathon goalie duel to give the Orlando Solar Bears a lead in the South Division Semifinals, 1-0, over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits by a 1-0 score.

Both goaltenders answered each other’s energy with game-breaking save after game-breaking save. Jacob Ingham, manning the Swamp Rabbits net, stopped all seven shots he saw, while Evan Fitzpatrick, in net for the Solar Bears, returned serve with a dozen saves in the first 20 minutes. 

Special teams factored into the second frame, with both teams going 0-fer on their respective advantages. The physical element was evident between both combatants, and the goalies again did their jobs. Fitzpatrick turned away 14 shots in period two, while Ingham denied five sent his way.

By the end of the third period, both teams combined for six posts clanked: four for Swamp Rabbits, including a crossbar, and two crossbars for the Solar Bears. Orlando fired a game-high 11 shots to Ingham in the final 20 minutes, of which he thwarted. Fitzpatrick matched his counterpart, staving away nine shots. 

One goal was all that was needed in this tight affair, and it eventually came from Spencer Kersten. With 7:38 left in the first overtime, Luke Boka worked the puck from behind his back in the right wing corner to Kersten, who had space in the same side faceoff circle. Kersten fired his shot that squeaked through Ingham and in, ending the game after 72:22 in favor of Orlando. The 1-0 final score coincidentally gives the Solar Bears a 1-0 series lead.

Jacob Ingham turned aside all but one shot of 29 chucked his way in his playoff debut (0-0-1).

The 2024 South Division Champions now look to rebound against the Orlando Solar Bears in Game 2 of the South Division Semifinals. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is tomorrow, Monday, April 22nd, and slated for a 7:05 p.m. EST puck drop 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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