GREENVILLE, SC – Despite three late goals with the goaltender pulled, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits fell short in their comeback efforts, as they fell 7-4 to the Jacksonville Icemen in Game 3 of the South Division Semifinal at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Greenville began Game 3 with an early power-play opportunity that led to Tanner Eberle’s first goal of the playoffs at 4:50. At 12:35, Derek Lodermeier tied the game for Jacksonville with his first of the series. Just under four minutes later, the Icemen took their first lead of the series with a Matt Iacopelli goal at 16:08.
Jacksonville extended its lead in the second period at 1:27, as Craig Martin scored his second of the series, before Cristiano DiGiacinto scored for the 4-1 lead. At 18:15, Lodermeier scored his second of the game for the 5-1 Jacksonville lead.
Mid-way through the third period, Max Martin scored a one-timer on the power-play to kickstart the Greenville offense and cut the score to 5-2. Greenville made the game competitive at 15:13, as Eberle paddled his second of the game into the net. At 18:21 Nikita Pavlychev scored his first of the playoffs to bring the Rabbits within a single goal. The three goals by the Swamp Rabbits were all scored with the goaltender pulled for the extra attacker. The Icemen secured the victory with a pair of empty net goals, one from Luke Lynch at 19:13 and one from Lodermeier at 19:28 to complete his hat-trick.
Greenville’s loss sees the Swamp Rabbits trail the best-of-seven South Division Semifinal to the Icemen 2-1.
The Swamp Rabbits and the Icemen meet again at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Friday, April 28, for Game 4. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m.