Swamp Rabbits Drop Heartbreaker in Overtime
Estero, FL - Estero, FL - The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (20-31-5-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, tallied the first two goals of the game tonight against the Florida Everblades (38-12-2-4). Florida matched Greenville's goals in the second period and pushed the game to overtime, eventually taking the game 3-2 in the extra period. The overtime finish is the third game this season between Greenville and Florida that required extra time.
The Swamp Rabbits were on the board first in the game as Daniel Echeverri helped his club get out to the lead. The defenseman picked off a pass and sprung up the ice on a 2-on-1 with Shane Walsh. Echeverri moved down the left side of the ice but ran out of real estate in front of the net. The Florida Gulf Coast University alum went below the goal line to put a pass into the crease for his line mate. Walsh jammed the puck in to make it 1-0 with six minutes left in the first period. Walsh has earned seven points (3G, 4A) in the last six games.
Greenville ended up in penalty trouble at the end of the period ending the period on a 5-on-3 disadvantage. After the first intermission, the team was able to kill off all of the time as netminder Brad Barone made some big saves in the early stages of the second. Moments later the Swamp Rabbits struck to make it 2-0.
Guillaume Naud net his first pro goal on the right side of the net after a puck bounced his way. Matt Johnson fired a shot toward the crease, but had his chance blocked on the way through. It redirected to the side of the net for Naud who was battling for position with an Everblades defenseman. The rookie forward smacked the loose puck toward the net, finding the net behind goaltender Callum Booth for a 2-0 Greenville lead.
Florida peppered the net with chances in the period and managed to equalize the score before the intermission. One of their 16 shots on goal, was a one-timer by Zack Kamrass from practically the goal line. The winger and his teammate Mitchell Heard exchanged on a quick give and go from the right corner before firing the shot through the five-hole of Barone to cut the lead in half at 7:46 of the second period.
It looked like Greenville would escape the period with the advantage, but with 11 seconds remaining in the period Brett Bulmer lit the lamp. On an offensive zone faceoff win, the Everblades got the puck to Bulmer at the top of the left circle before his shot deflected into the net. The opportunity redirected over the head of the Swamp Rabbits goaltender and floated into the cage to tie the game at 2-2.
Barone held his ground in the third period to help the Swamp Rabbits got to overtime. Florida came into the period seeking a winning goal but the third-year pro denied all 14 chances including some sprawling saves. In total, Barone made 40 stops in the contest while Booth finished the game with 13 saves.
In overtime, John McCarron tallied his 22nd goal of the season to propel his team to a win. The winger entered the zone at the top of the right circle and launched a shot off of Barone's glove before finding the net. The Everblades and Swamp Rabbits have played three games beyond regulation this season and the season series is now even at two wins apiece.
The clubs face off at 7 p.m. tomorrow night for the fifth time this season to end Greenville's weekend trip to Florida.
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