GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Florida Everblades (25-9-0-2) fell to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (16-10-7-2) 5-3 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Friday night.Florida struggled to overcome an early three goal deficit on the road.
FIRST STAR: Anthony Rinaldi (GRN) - one goal, one assist, +2, three shots
SECOND STAR: Joey Hadad (GRN) - one goal, two assists, +3, four shots
THIRD STAR: Liam Pecararo (GRN) - one goal, one assist, +1, one shot
After about seven minutes of play, Greenville forward Liam Pecararo redirected a slapshot from fellow Rabbit Jack Sadek to put Greenville on the scoreboard first (7:48). Nine seconds later, Greenville extended their lead to 2-0. Blades goaltender Jake Hildebrand initially saved a shot from Greenville forward Anthony Rinaldi, but Joey Haddad buried the rebound (7:57). With a little over two minutes left in the first period, Rinaldi made it 3-0, when he deflected a wrist shot past the shoulder of Hildebrand (17:33).
The Everblades finally found twine early in the second period. The play began when Levko Koper gathered the puck off of his own rebound and fed Joe Pendenza at the near post. Pendenza then banked it off the closing pad of Greenville netminder Ryan Bednard and into the net (4:22).
Florida continued to chip away at Greenville’s lead with another tally in the second period to make the score 3-2. Alex Kile picked off a pass and quickly found John McCarron at center ice, who drove past two Greenville defensemen and snapped a shot past Bednard (13:37).
The momentum quickly shifted back to Greenville at the beginning of the third period. Similar to the previous Greenville goals, forward David Broll tapped in a rebound to double the lead to 4-2 (0:30). But the Everblades refused to go down without a fight. Florida forward Tommy Marchin intercepted a pass near Greenville’s blue line, and showed off some nifty handling to get past Greenville’s final line. Marchin completed the play as he ripped a shot from a tough angle to make it a one-goal game (8:04).
Greenville landed the final blow with an empty netter by Garrett Thompson for a final of 5-3 (18:01).
The Everblades and Swamp Rabbits will play their second of three games in Greenville on Saturday, Mar. 20 at 7:05 p.m. Then, Florida and Greenville will square off for a third time on Sunday, Mar. 21 at 3:05 p.m. Tune into the action at FloHockey.TVor listen inon WJBX News, Talk & More on 104.3 FM, 101.5 FM and AM 770, plus online at wjbxnewstalk.com.
The Everblades return home to Hertz Arena for a trio of games against the Wheeling Nailers beginning Wednesday, Mar. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Then, the Blades will face the Nailers again Friday, Mar. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Mar. 27 at 7:00 p.m. at Hertz Arena. It will be the first time the two teams square off against each other this season. For tickets to the games, click HERE.
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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.