Greenville Uses Two Power Play Goals to Clip Icemen
JACKSONVILLE, FL – Despite sound play five-on-five, the Icemen were unable to win the special teams battle for the second straight night, as the Greenville Swamp Rabbits scored two more power play goals on Saturday night to defeat the Icemen 5-3 at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena Saturday night.
The Icemen came out with a fierce pace in the opening period, tying a season-high 19 shots in the period. Meanwhile Greenville was limited to just seven shots, but scored just five seconds into their first power play opportunity when Jake Smith’s one-timer off the faceoff was tipped into the net by Nikita Pavlychev for the game’s opening goal.
The Swamp Rabbits wasted little time adding to their lead in the second period when Anthony Beauchamp crashed the net uncontested and scored just 11 seconds into the period. Later in the period, Max Martin split the Icemen defense on a rush and finished off a breakaway chance with a wrister that clipped over the shoulder of Michael Houser for give Greenville the 3-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.
In the third, the Icemen once again refused to go down without a fight, and finally broke through on the power play to help their cause just 38 seconds into the period, when Matheson Iacopelli netted his fourth goal of the week to put Jacksonville on the board. The goal extended Iacopelli's point streak to five games.
However, Greenville countered three minutes later when Jake Smith was found all alone in front of the net and finished a chance at the crease to make it a 4-1 edge for the Swamp Rabbits.
Icemen pushed right back as Brendan Harris scored off a rebound following a Craig Martin shot to make it a two-goal game again.
Halfway through the third, and just as an Icemen power play ended, the puck wandered across the low slot through a gauntlet of sticks and skates before finding the stick of Garrett Van Wyhe on the backside. Van Wyhe hammered the puck home to pull Jacksonville within one and sending the crowd of over 8,533 into a frenzy.
Despite the furious comeback bid, Greenville added an insurance marker at 14:46 of the third to eventually secure the 5-3 victory to claim the weekend sweep of the Icemen.
For the Icemen, the team showed a resounding resolve to never stop fighting, outplayed Greenville five-on-five, but Greenville posted four power play goals in key moments on the weekend and it was ultimately the difference in the final results.
The Icemen now hit the road for a Tuesday evening affair at Atlanta at 7:00 p.m. before returning home against South Carolina on Wednesday.
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