Estero, FL – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (20-23-3-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, were not able to complete the weekend sweep as the Florida Everblades (31-9-1-4) put up a hard press in the first half of the game. The Everblades were carried by John McCarron’s natural hat trick and turned in a 5-1 decision that stopped Greenville’s quest for a third straight win.
McCarron took control of the game in the first half, netting his first hat trick of the season. The Florida alternate captain opened the scoring in the night with a wrap around goal four minutes into the first period. With a quick move to the left post, McCarron jammed the puck in the net from below the goal line just beating the pad of Ty Rimmer on the left side of the crease.
The Swamp Rabbits netminder was met with 22 shots in the first period after making 50 saves in Friday night’s victory. Eventually Rimmer made 35 stops in the contest and has made 132 saves against Florida in three outings this season.
The third-year pro scored his second of the game late in the first period shorthanded on a nearly perfect shot. The Swamp Rabbits power play was interrupted right from the drop of the puck as Justin Kea stole it away and fed McCarron up through neutral ice. The center moved down the left wing and fired his shot at the top of the circle, finding the inside of the post to make it 2-0 at 18:40 of the first.
The Swamp Rabbits and Everblades squared off at the start of the second period but Florida took the momentum and tallied a pair of goals before the five-minute mark. McCarron tallied his third of the game on the power play, deflecting a shot into the net for his 18th tally this season. A minute later, Brett Bulmer had the puck deflect to him on Kyle Neuber shot from below the goal line. The winger jammed the shot into the net for a 4-0 Everblades lead.
Greenville had some life as they crossed the halfway point of the game. The Swamp Rabbits eventually out-shot the Everblades 13-7 in the period and put their only tally on the board. Jack Nevins battled for a puck below the goal line and moved it behind the net to Joe Basaraba. The center stepped out from behind the goal line and banked a shot off of goaltender Callum Booth into the net. Basaraba’s second of the weekend scored at 15:37 of the period was his 13th of the season.
Booth shut it down from there and the Everblades managed to hold Greenville at bay in the third period. The netminder finished the game with 26 saves, earning his teams first victory over Greenville this season. Matt Berry added his fourth point of the weekend with a deflection goal to add to the Everblades score in the third period.
Greenville returns home to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Tuesday night for the team’s only game of the week. The Swamp Rabbits will face the Jacksonville Icemen for the eighth time this season when the puck drops at 7 p.m.
2-FOR-$20 NIGHT | Tuesday, February 6 | 7 p.m.
We are throwing ticket prices back on Tuesday night. Grab two tickets for $20 and enjoy our Hoppy Hour specials, including $3 domestic beer, and select $2 concessions from 5-8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased before the game through the Swamp Rabbits office or at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena box office.
REMINDER: Feb. 8 Moved to Feb. 20
The Swamp Rabbits home game originally scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8 has been moved to Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. The Swamp Rabbits will face the Atlanta Gladiators for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Night presented by Michelin. For more information on the rescheduled contest, visit SwampRabbits.com.
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Contact a Swamp Rabbits Account Executive at 864-674-PUCK (7825) for information on 2017-18 ticket plans, special group rates and hospitality opportunities and to secure your seats today! Get the latest Swamp Rabbits gear by visiting the “Hop Shop” online at SwampRabbits.com/shop to browse the full collection of fan wear and novelties!