Greenville Earns Weekend Split with Norfolk
NORFOLK, Va. - The Greenville Swamp Rabbits recovered from allowing the first goal with three unanswered tallies, and got timely goaltending from Jeremy Helvig in a 3-2 win over the Norfolk Admirals on Saturday night at the Scope. The win split the weekend with the South Division opponent.
Johno May notched the game-winning goal at the 4:22 mark of the second period. Michael Pelech stripped the puck at the defensive blue line and started a two-on-one break. May took the pass and wired a shot over former Swamp Rabbits goaltender Brandon Halverson to give the Swamp Rabbits the 3-1 advantage- a lead they would never relinquish.
Helvig stood on his head in the final moments, even while fighting off a cramp, with his best save held for last. Brothers Josh and Ben Holmstrom looked to connect on a back-door passing play, but Helvig stretched out the left leg pad to deny the last gasp opportunity for the home club.
Down 1-0, it took one opportunity on a breakaway for Liam Pecararo to pull even. Sent on his way on a breakaway by Travis Howe, the team's leading scorer split the defense and shot the puck upstairs. The puck deflected off of Halverson's glove hand and into the net to tie the game about seven minutes into the first period.
Kamerin Nault gave the Swamp Rabbits the lead five minutes later. A faceoff win led to a chance from the point by Chad Duchesne. The shot turned into a slingshot pass off the end boards to Nault, whose backhander went upstairs for the go-ahead goal.
Alex Rodriguez's goal got the Admirals back within a goal on the power play early in the third period, and even while outshot 19-4, Helvig and the defense continued to block shots and keep Norfolk off the board, even among a night where three-point nights in the standings were commonplace.
The win in the standings was also a moral victory for the Swamp Rabbits, who played with just nine forwards and five defensemen, as injury and illness forced the team's hand.
The Swamp Rabbits will host three of the next four games at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena starting on Wednesday, December 11 against the I-85 rival Atlanta Gladiators. Tickets are available at SwampRabbits.com.
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