ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs Game Recap: Greenville Swamp Rabbits at Orlando Solar Bears | 04/27/2024

Photo: Jake Farmer/InsideTheRink

Orlando, FLA – The Solar Bears and Swamp Rabbits returned for a back-to-back game at the Kia Center for game four of the South Division Semi-finals. After game three at the Kia Center, the Solar Bears led 2-1 over the Swamp Rabbits. But this game would have a different look than the one prior; Orlando won game three 2-1 in the first overtime.

1st Period

The Swamp Rabbits would start off the first ten minutes of play by scoring two consecutive goals. Tanner Eberle would score on a wrap-around at 1:12 with a primary assist by Freeman. For the second one, Colton Young would rip it from a slick pass by Brett Kemp at the trapezoid during the power play. After Young’s power play goal, the Solar Bears would take another penalty at 7:13. This time. However, the Solar Bears would put their dominant PK core to work and kill off the penalty. The successful kill would boost them to add a couple of shots on Richardson. But the netminder making his second postseason start would snuff out any attempt of a Bears goal.

Shots on goal: 12 Greenville, 7 Orlando

2nd Period

The Solar Bears would have a different period than the previous one, as they would see an influx of chances, better O-zone plays, increased forechecking in the neutral and offensive zone, and a goal. Before the 13 minute mark, the Solar Bears would outshoot the Rabbits 14-3. Spencer Kersten would net the Bears’ first goal at 13:06 from Darik Angelis sauce, decreasing the deficit by one goal. Later on, with over 30 seconds left in the second frame, Eberle would motor down the neutral zone to carry out the puck into Orlando’s zone, getting defended by a Solar Bear, and then net an unassisted goal to expand his team’s lead at 3-1.

Shots on goal: 6 Greenville, 18 Orlando.

3rd Period

At the start of the final frame, Ethan Somoza would make it 4-1 at 2:05 on a two-on-one from an assist by Brannon McManus. Then, over two minutes later, Ben Freeman would make it 5-1 on the power play. What seemed like a 5-1 lead over the home team would slowly slip away from the Rabbits’ eyes as Spencer Kersten would score his second of the night and fourth of the playoffs at 8:56 on the power play. Now 2-5, the Bears were motivated for more. And the motivation would pay off not even a minute after the PP goal, as Jesse Jacques would make it 3-5. Andrew Lord would call for a time-out upon the goal to try and get his team back into the game. The timeout would help the Rabbits significantly as toward the buzzer, Evan Fitzpatrick would get benched for the extra attacker. Trailing by two, the Bears were determined to muster up two goals. However, the Rabbits were on top of that as they would make needed clears out of their zone, missing the empty net to force icings. At the buzzer, the Rabbits would keep the score at 5-3, and tie the series at two.

Final shots on goal: 26 Greenville, 36 Orlando.

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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