ECHL Kelly Cup Playoff Game Recap: Orlando Solar Bears VS. Greenville Swamp Rabbits | 04/21/2024

Photo Credit: Jake Farmer/InsideTheRink

Greenville, SC – It’s now time for ECHL playoff action, as the Swamp Rabbits and Solar Bears were slated for game one of the south division semi-finals at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Orlando would start Evan Fitzpatrick, and Greenville would start Jacob Ingham for the walls in between the pipes.

1st Period

The Swamp Rabbits would dominate the first ten minutes of the first Period by outshooting the Solar Bears 8-2. But Fitzpatrick and the Bears’ core would deny any chance of becoming a goal. Throughout the Period, the Rabbits would see some good opportunities, while the Solar Bears couldn’t capitalize on the odd-man rushes produced by Swamp Rabbits’ turnovers. So after twenty, the score would remain at 0. Shots on goal: 7 Orlando, 14 Greenville.

2nd Period

Orlando would draw the first power play and put in the work. However, Greenvilles PK core killed it off and allowed no shots on goal, with Ingham making key stick and blockers saves to keep the score at 0. Then, at 12:09, Jesse Jacques would get called for interference, putting the Rabbits on their first PP. However, the Bears’ own PK would put in the defensive work like the Rabbits – they only allowed one shot on Fitzpatrick’s net. The opportunities were not over for the Rabbits, as at 17:39, they would draw another PP. Though it wouldn’t go as far as they had hoped, the flame would still burn. At 18:52, they would play an abbreviated 5-3 as the Bears would take another penalty, shining the light for a potential goal. However, the Bears would kill it off, and the score would remain at 0. So many drives by the Rabbits’ PP units would go high and wide or get smothered by Evan Fitzpatrick. So, the game would continue with the zero score after 40. Shots on goal: 5 Orlando, 14 Greenville.

3rd Period

The Swamp Rabbits would start out the final Period with heavy plays and momentum swings. Being the only team to place a shot on goal for the first eight minutes by posting seven on Fitzpatrick. At 12:08, the Bears would get their second PP opportunity and, this time, put in more effort, as the team would put three shots on Ingham. But still, they wouldn’t be able to score. So both teams played on. Still, with a score of 0, both teams wanted something to give. But nothing would. After the final frame, the game would be tied and head into 5v5, sudden death twenty-minute overtime to decide the winner. Shots on goal: 11 Orlando, 9 Greenville.

Overtime

The Solar Bears would take the game in overtime after Spencer Keresten would wrist it through the pocket of Ingham with the help of Luke Boka and Jesse Jacques. However, Greenville had a few good looks at the crease before Keresten scored as they would outshoot Orlando 8-6 in overtime.

Total shots on goal: 29 Orlando, 43 Greenville.

Some takeaways: both teams had a great performance since recent history. They played with hard physicality and high and speedy pressures; forechecks and backchecks were on par, and that’s mainly the reason why neither could score in regulation. A lot of credit is due to the goaltenders of Jacob Ingham and Evan Fitzpatrick, as Fitzpatrick got his second straight shutout in the last two games played.

Jake Farmer

I'm a photographer and writer covering the ECHL Greenville Swamp Rabbits based in Greenville, South Carolina. Twitter and Instagram: JakeCF.Hockey

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