Nault Ends Wild Game in OT as Rabbits Top Gladiators
DULUTH, Ga. - A combination of three points by Kamerin Nault, including the game-winning goal at the 4:48 mark of overtime, combined with a hat trick by Mason Baptista, gave the Greenville Swamp Rabbits the offensive punch they needed to overcome the topsy-turvy nature of Monday's game against the Atlanta Gladiators on Monday afternoon. The Swamp Rabbits beat the Glads, 7-6.
Dylan MacPherson carried the puck out of the defensive zone in full flight, and set up Nault in the left circle in a three-on-one break, and the second-year pro stashed the puck into the net past Chris Nell to give the Swamp Rabbits the win. It was his second goal of the game.
The Swamp Rabbits remain undefeated when leading after two periods of play.
Greenville was forced to respond from two goals down in the first two and a half minutes of the game, as Tommy Marchin scored on Atlanta's first shot on goal of the game, and on his next shift.
The Swamp Rabbits strung together a six-minute span of near total domination. Mike Monfredo got the ball rolling in the right direction, as he kept the puck in after a failed clearing attempt by Atlanta and shot the puck through a screen and into the goal.
Nault scored his first of the day with the aid of some puck luck. Patrick Bajkov sent him on his way through the neutral zone, and his shot deflected off of a defender and through the pads of Nell to tie the game. Baptista's first of the game off the rush gave the Swamp Rabbits the lead.
Atlanta pulled to a tie thanks to a goal by Avery Peterson to close out the second period, where both teams combined to shoot 25%.
The second period featured five more goals, but it was the Swamp Rabbits who never lost control of the lead. Baptista continued his strong play with the Glads on the power play. Adam Rockwood took the pass from Monfredo and started a two-on-one break. The pass across was flawless, and the finish gave Greenville the lead back at 3:39.
Michael Pelech added on to the hurt with a rebound tally off of a stuff attempt by Nault for his tenth goal of the season.
Joel Messner gave Atlanta hope by getting them within one again, but Mason Baptista struck 44 seconds later to complete the hat trick and re-establish the two-goal cushion. Unfortunately for the Swamp Rabbits, Samuel Asselin converted with just 26 seconds remaining in the second period to pull the visitors within one.
Marchin completed his hat trick at the 11:23 mark, even as the Rabbits held the Glads to just seven shots in the third period, but an extended shift in the offensive zone was too much to handle.
Greenville outshot Atlanta 37-27 for the game. 10 players scored at least a point for the Swamp Rabbits. The win extended the winning streak to four games.
The Swamp Rabbits enter the All-Star break in third place in the South Division and will next suit up on Friday to take on the Florida Everblades at 7:30 p.m.
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