LETHEMON STOPS 37 AS SWAMP RABBITS DOWN EVERBLADES 5-3 TO EVEN SERIES
ESTERO, FL – A four-goal second period and a 37-save performance by John Lethemon led the way for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits to level their Round 1 series against the Florida Everblades at 1-1 with a 5-3 victory on Saturday night at Hertz Arena.
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In a penalty-filled and heated first period, the Everblades captured the opening goal of the game at the 9:31 mark, as Chris McKay cut to the goal line and lifted the puck into the net. After the Everblades captain, John McCarron, was ejected for a kneeing major, the Swamp Rabbits generated chances late in the first, but were outshot 8-6.
In the second, Greenville jumped onto the score board as Alec Rauhauser snapped a high-slot shot into the net for a power-play tally at 4:48. Shortly after, at 6:51, Ben Freeman lifted a shot from the right circle into the net for the 2-1 Greenville advantage. At 9:16, Ayden MacDonald slid the puck to Bobby Russell, who fed Kevin McKernan on the back post for the 3-1 Swamp Rabbits lead. Greenville added a fourth consecutive goal at 14:12, a shorthanded tally, as Joe Gatenby cleaned up the loose puck from Freeman's saved breakaway. Late in the frame, at 16:02, Xavier Bouchard scored from inside the blue line to bring Florida within a pair of goals. Moments later, Alex Aleardi scored down the wing, at 18:48, to bring Florida to within a single tally.
The third period saw a back-and-forth exchange of shots, before a late Florida power-play and a an empty net created a six-on-four scenario for the Swamp Rabbits to defend. At 18:46 Freeman secured the Greenville victory, scoring his second of the game into the empty net.
At the final horn, Swamp Rabbits goaltender John Lethemon, who preformed valiantly in Game 1, stopped 37 of 40 Everblades shots for his first victory of the series.
With the win, the Swamp Rabbits leveled the best-of-seven series with the Blades at 1-1, before the series shifts for three games in Greenville.
The Swamp Rabbits return to Greenville for Game 3 against the Everblades on Wednesday, April 27 at 7:05 p.m. inside of Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
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