Defensive Effort Falls Short in Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Greenville Swamp Rabbits played a strong defensive game, but the Jacksonville Icemen opened the scoring early and held on for the win late. The Icemen topped the Swamp Rabbits 2-1 at the Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday night.
Zach Franko picked up his first goal as a Swamp Rabbit in the final minute with goaltender Kyle Hayton at the bench for the extra attacker on a centering pass from the corner by Michael Pelech. That cut the Jacksonville lead in half, but it ultimately fell short.
Jacksonville, like the night prior, jumped out to a 2-0 lead, even with a supreme defensive effort that held the Icemen to 15 credited shots on goal on Hayton, who kept the game close, especially with his best save on Dajon Mingo in the first period.
That, and a penalty killing effort came through strong for Greenville, who, for the eighth consecutive game, kept the opponent's penalty kill off the board. The Icemen went 0-for-5 on the man advantage.
Everett Clark pounced on an early Greenville turnover following the conclusion of a Kris Newbury penalty in the opening minutes. Hayton lost control of the puck behind the net, and Everett Clark wrapped the net on the turnover and stashed home the opening salvo.
It would take until late in the second period for Jacksonville to strike again. Big man David Broll busted down the middle of the ice, and his backhand attempt was tipped by Adam Larkin, but gave the puck an odd trajectory and poked the puck over Hayton's shoulder to extend Jacksonville's lead to 2-0.
The Swamp Rabbits will see their schedule grind to a halt in mid-March, with a full week off ahead. The third consecutive game against Jacksonville will take place on Sunday, March 17. For tickets, go to SwampRabbits.com.
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