Swamp Rabbits Fall in Finale
NORFOLK, Va. - The Greenville Swamp Rabbits put everything on the line in the third period of a game once down 3-0, and pulled the game even, but one mistake in the defensive zone late in the third led to the homestanding Norfolk Admirals coming through with the win. Ben Duffy scored the game-winner at the 12:34 mark of the final frame to give the Admirals a 4-3 win over Greenville on Saturday night at The Scope.
Duffy, Norfolk's leading scorer, sliced through the defense on a feed from Alex Rodriguez and pitched a backhander over the glove of goaltender Kyle Hayton to establish the lead for good. Greenville pulled Hayton for the extra attacker in the final moments, but were unable to get the puck past Ty Reichenbach.
Norfolk raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, but saw it collapse over the course of the game. J.C. Brassard gave the Swamp Rabbits life with a tally at the 17:34 mark of the second period. Kamerin Nault and Michael Pelech teamed up to find the defenseman streaking off the bench for the scoring chance.
Back-to-back power plays put Greenville at an even 3-3 tie. First, already on the power play and with a delayed penalty call coming up to Don Olivieri, the aforementioned defenseman was indecisive in touching up for the penalty call, and Pelech swiped the puck from him and whipped the puck from below the goal line and into the goal.
54 seconds later, on the ensuing power play, Brendan Harms took a shot from the left circle that deflected off of a Norfolk defender and into the goal to tie the game. Adam Larkin and Clint Lewis picked up assists on the goal.
Norfolk utilized a strong offensive foray in the opening five minutes with two goals on the game's first six shots. Rodriguez converted just over two minutes into the game on the opening part of a double minor power play. Then, after the back half of the penalty expired, it took a few seconds for Christian Horn to convert at 4:41.
Rodriguez added his second of the night on a tic-tac-toe passing play in the late stages of the first period to extend the lead to 3-0.
The Swamp Rabbits put everything but the kitchen sink on net in the third period, outshooting Norfolk 16-4 in the final frame. However, just one of those four shots was enough for Norfolk to eke out the one-goal win over Greenville.
The Swamp Rabbits closed out the 2018-19 season with a 25-41-6 record, and 56 standings points.
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Greenville Swamp Rabbits battle the Norfolk Admirals
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