Gladiators Serve Swamp Rabbits First Loss
DULUTH, Ga. - The Greenville Swamp Rabbits showed resiliency in responding from a 2-0 deficit, and even took the lead twice, but could not hold on, as a relentless attack by the homestanding Gladiators proved to be too much to handle. The Glads took the win 6-4 on Saturday night at the Infinite Energy Arena.
A fluky goal off the stick of defenseman Chris Forney pinballed through a maze of players and into the back of the net past goaltender Ryan Bednard to give Atlanta its final, and most decisive lead. Tommy Marchin added one more for insurance late in the third.
Scott Conway was the story for the Glads on this night, as his hat trick paced the Gladiators' attack, including the opening goal of the game, and two others in the second period, for his first hat trick in just his second professional game.
Down by a pair, the Swamp Rabbits found a renewed sense of urgency. Liam Pecararo converted just a minute and ten seconds after Dante Hannoun gave Atlanta the two-goal cushion to cut the lead in half. Then, just a few minutes later, a spinaround spot by Shaq Merasty found Adam Larkin streaking in, and his high-rising wrist shot tied the game at the 6:19 mark.
Larkin set up Patrick Bajkov on the power play to give Greenville its first lead just over three minutes later, but any time a lead came, it was erased. Johno May ripped a shot off of a set play, but the Glads had an answer almost immediately.
Defenseman Will Lochead almost took the game into his own hands with several scoring chances in the third period alone, including a crossbar hit that could have tied the game at five, but to no avail.
Due to a lower body injury sustained by Callum Booth in the first period, Bednard was forced to come into the game in relief 10 minutes into the action. Booth and Bednard helped keep the door sealed in a first period that saw Atlanta outshoot Greenville 15-5.
The weekend concludes with a game on Sunday, October 20 at 3:05 p.m. against the Gladiators, including a postgame skate with the players. Tickets are available at SwampRabbits.com, or at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena box office.
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