JACKSONVILLE, FL – Nathan Perkovich’s goal at 6:41 of overtime lifted the Greenville Swamp Rabbits to 4-3 victory over the Jacksonville Icemen in front of a sold out crowd announced at 8,597 at Veterans Memorial Arena Saturday night.
Greenville struck first halfway through the opening frame on a tally by Roman Ammirato to give the Swamp Rabbits a 1-0 lead that held for the remainder of the period.
Jacksonville evened the score at 6:25 of the second on a goal by Icemen captain Emerson Clark. Garrett Ross delivered a shot that was initially stopped by goaltender Callum Booth, but the rebound bounced to Clark at the right circle. Clark shoved the rebound for the tying tally. The Swamp Rabbits reclaimed the lead nearly a minute later when Ammirato scored his second of the night. Later in the period, Graeme Craig launched a pass down the ice and spring-boarded Chase Witala on a breakaway opportunity. Witala slipped a backhanded shot underneath the leg pad of Booth to even the game at 2-2. The two teams went into the second break tied.
In the third, Jacksonville grabbed its first lead of the contest at 5:30 of the final stanza when Emerson Clark stole the puck from a Greenville defender and took off on a breakaway. Clark made a silky deke move to beat Booth five-hole to guide the Icemen to 3-2 edge.
Greenville’s Cedric Lacroix scored on a shorthanded breakaway at 13:24 of the third to tie the game at three. Both goaltenders made big saves in the final minutes to keep the puck out and send the game to overtime.
New for this season, the ECHL now conducts a seven-minute 3-on-3 overtime session. Both teams competed hard in the extra session and in the waning seconds of overtime the Swamp Rabbits streaked own the ice on a 2-on-1 rush. Ammirato delivered a pass to Nathan Perkovich who snapped a shot from the slot that beat Icemen goaltender Griffen Outhouse underneath the crossbar to secure the 4-3 overtime win for Greenville.
Booth takes the win making 32 saves while Outhouse takes the loss with 32 saves as well. The two teams will meet again on Friday, October 18 at the Bons Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville.
---The Icemen return home on Wednesday, October 30 against the Atlanta Gladiators. Fans can enjoy $2 select beers and wine. There will also be a Halloween costume contest and kids can trick-or-treat in the concourse. Flexible ticket packages and discounted group tickets remain available for future games. Contact 904-602-7825 or visit www.jacksonvilleicemen.com for more information.
The 2019-20 Jacksonville Icemen Season is Presented by Community First Credit Union