Rabbits Answer Strong to Even Eastern Conference Finals
Greenville, SC - The Greenville Swamp Rabbits converted early and often to score a 5-2 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night. The best-of-five series is now even at 1-1 with Game 3 scheduled for Saturday, June 19 at 7:05 p.m. in Greenville.
The Rabbits tallied twice within the game's first 10 minutes to salvage an early 2-0 lead. Shawn Cameron opened the scoring at 4:10 after finding a loose puck sitting in the blue paint. An initial shot from Luke Martin was denied by Rays netminder Hunter Shepard, but Cameron approached the rebound first to provide his team an early spark.
At 8:47, the Swamp Rabbits doubled their advantage on a power play goal from Garrett Thompson. The Alternate Captain buried his first goal of the postseason after banking the puck off Shepard's back and into the cage from near the goal line.
South Carolina answered with two quick strikes to draw even before the first period's conclusion. First, Brett Supinski redirected a Macoy Erkamps shot at 11:01, and Erkamps found the equalizer at 14:23. Shots after 20 minutes were 15-11 Greenville.
Greenville tallied once more on the man-advantage and it stood as the eventual game-winning goal. On a 2-on-2 rush, Greg Meireles wired a shot past Shepard's glove hand at 6:25 for the go-ahead marker.
Leading 3-2 in the third period, the Swamp Rabbits connected for two key insurance tallies separated by only 65 seconds. David Broll converted a breakaway chance at 2:59, and Samuel Jardine blasted home his first of the postseason at 4:04.
Greenville's special team finished 2-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Final shots totaled 38-34 South Carolina. Rabbits netminder John Lethemon made 36 saves and recorded third star honors.
Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals is now necessary and will be played on Monday, June 21 at the Carolina Ice Palace in North Charleston. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m.
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