Swamp Rabbits Fire Shot Barrage, Fall Short in Florida
ESTERO, Fla. - The Greenville Swamp Rabbits outshot the Florida Everblades 38-25 for the game, including a lopsided 20-7 differential in the second period alone, saw time on three 5-on-3 power play opportunities, had seven power plays for the game, and could not break through a stingy Florida defense and goaltender. The Everblades struck for a decisive goal to start the second period, and potted an empty netter to top Greenville 4-2 on Friday night at Hertz Arena.
Johno May posted two goals on the night for the Swamp Rabbits. His first of the night came in response to a goal from the Everblades just a minute in to tie the game with a wraparound goal, and his second pulled the team within a goal late in regulation, but it was an empty-netter by Nate Perkovich that put the game away, ultimately, as he hit the net dead center from 160 feet away.
Florida got started on the right foot a minute into the action, as Blake Winiecki was sent on a rush and his shot on a one-touch passing play found a way past goaltender Chris Nell to start the scoring. The 'Blades re-took the lead as Perkovich notched his first of the night on a deflection of a point shot.
The second period did not start as planned for Greenville. Captain John McCarron found a break on the power play with a deflection goal, the Everblades' first and only power play goal of the night, to extend their lead to 3-1. After that, it was a complete and total takeover of the game by the Swamp Rabbits for the rest of the period. Unfortunately, it did not result in any goals.
The Swamp Rabbits played to the tune of a +13 shot differential in the second period, forced a 5-on-3 power play opportunity and a separate power play, and kept firing away. Jamie Phillips, however, had the answer every time. The former Winnipeg Jets prospect made all 20 stops in the second period, and earned third-star honors by making 36 stops on the night.
Greenville was especially good at sending Mitch Vandergunst to the box, as he took three trips on the night.
Several chances just would not go. Greenville hit two goal posts in quick succession on an extended spell of power play time, and repeated netmouth scrambles produced nothing in the goal column. Eventually, a broken play worked for May, as Chris Izmirlian and Stephen Pierog teamed up to get the puck into the middle, and after a blocked shot, May followed up and connected for his 12th goal of the season, top shelf.
The Swamp Rabbits return to action on Saturday, December 8 in Florida to take on the Everblades. Catch all of the action on the Swamp Rabbits Broadcast Network, or on the ECHL's streaming video provider, ECHL.TV.
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Greenville Swamp Rabbits vs. the Florida Everblades
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