Jacksonville, FL – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (17-16-2-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, were on the wrong end of a 4-2 finish at Veterans Memorial Arena tonight against the Jacksonville Icemen (10-19-3-2). The teams traded blows in the first period, but Jacksonville broke the tie less than two minutes into the final frame. The season series is now tied at 2-2-0-0 with six more games head-to-head this season.
To say the Swamp Rabbits got off to a quick start would be an understatement. Off the opening faceoff, Greenville got their first chance of the game. Sean Flanagan tossed a rink wide pass over to Wade Murphy on the right wing center ice. The Swamp Rabbits winger took the puck over the line but lost control off it as he hit a defenders skate. Joe Basaraba sped into the zone to take the loose puck in the high slot before ripping the puck into the net 19 seconds into the game. Basaraba’s 10th of the season turned the game in Greenville’s favor early on.
Five minutes into the game, it looked as if Greenville may have earned a 2-0 lead. After a puck hit the post and trickled to the goal line, the Icemen pulled it away and led a rush to Josh Erickson. The forward sped up the ice to tie the game on an odd man rush.
The Icemen added a second in the period to take the lead. Goaltender Brandon Halverson made a group of saves to keep the puck out of the net but the rebound remained at the top of the crease despite his efforts. Tanner Eberle retrieved the puck and rolled a shot just past Halverson and inside the left post.
The Swamp Rabbits countered with a quick goal. At 11:19 of the first period, Matt Prapavessis fired a shot from the right wing, looking for an opportunity and found the stick of Carter Sandlak. The winger deflected the puck past Icemen netminder Jamie Phillips for his fifth goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2.
The teams traded chances in the second but ended the middle period at a stalemate. The icemen fired 13 shots on net but were held off the board by Halverson. At the other end of the rink, Phillips saw six shots and stopped them all.
Jacksonville retook the lead less than two minutes into the third period. Off a clean faceoff win, the puck moved across the blue line to Chris Joseph for a long shot. The rebound bounced to Tyson Fawcett who barreled into the net after scoring the eventual game-winning goal. Elgin Pearce added his 11th goal of the season on an empty net with less than a minute to play in the game, solidifying Jacksonville’s tenth win this season.
Greenville put a game high 13 shots on net and even pulled the goalie for an extra skater late in the contest, but Phillips held his ground to earn his third victory of the season. The goaltender made 28 saves on 30 shots, while Halverson denied 36 shots for Greenville.
The Swamp Rabbits return home on Friday night at 7 p.m. to face the Orlando Solar Bears at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
SCARF GIVEAWAY NIGHT | Friday, January 12 | 7:00 p.m.
The Swamp Rabbits are offering the first 1,000 fans a free Swamp Rabbits Scarf when they walk in the door on Friday, Jan. 12. The Swamp Rabbits take the ice against the Orlando Solar Bears at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit SwampRabbits.com or grab a Bon Secours Family Fun Pack.
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