Everblades Outlast Swamp Rabbits
ESTERO, Fla. - A back-and-forth affair saw both teams hold a lead, and both teams battle back. Ultimately, Nate Perkovich's game-winning goal at the 15:49 mark of the third period held up, and the Everblades' standings point streak was extended to 11 games as they defeated the Greenville Swamp Rabbits 5-4 on Saturday night at Hertz Arena.
Perkovich tallied three goals on the weekend, and on a feed from first star of the night Michael Neville, found the back of the net. It was one of two Everblades goals in the second period, in response to two goals by the Swamp Rabbits in the middle frame.
A late push by the Swamp Rabbits, including nine shots in the third period, fell short. A mix-up on a line change led to a Too Many Men on the Ice penalty against Greenville, which ended the comeback effort.
Down 3-2 heading into the second period, the Swamp Rabbits struck early. At the 6:30 mark, Greenville forced a steal down low in the offensive zone, and Thomas Ebbing and Brendan Harms connected on a passing play that found Trevor Owens all alone, and his shelf bested Florida goaltender Jamie Phillips to tie the game. But, much like any response that came from the 'Blades on Saturday, it happened immediately. John McCarron, off of a neutral zone turnover, found the net, and re-took the lead.
A dangerous hit behind the Swamp Rabbits' net on Jon Jutzi led to a major power play opportunity for Greenville. On said power play, late in it, Austen Brassard connected from the right circle to once again tie the game, before giving up the game-winning goal four minutes later.
The first period ended 3-2 in favor of the Everblades, with five goals scored on 20 shots on goal total. Back-to-back goals from Jake Bolton on the power play and Will Merchant at even strength gave the Swamp Rabbits a 2-1 lead, but 44 seconds later, Neville posted a fluky goal off of a defensive skate and past Garrett Bartus to tie the game once again.
Justin Auger, in his return to the Everblades, scored four minutes into the first period to get the teddy bears tossed onto the ice. After a lengthy delay, the play resumed. Auger scored again later in the period to give the Everblades their one-goal lead after the first period.
The Swamp Rabbits' power play went 2-for-5 on the night, and outshot the 'Blades 26-24.
The Swamp Rabbits return to action on Sunday, December 9 in Orlando to take on the Solar Bears at 1:30 p.m. Catch all of the action on the Swamp Rabbits Broadcast Network, or on the ECHL's streaming video provider, ECHL.TV.
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