SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The first game of a back to back against the Everblades on Thursday night did not go as planned for the Swamp Rabbits. Florida was able to increase their point streak to 12 games with a 3-0 win in Greenville.
There is really not much to brag about on the Swamp Rabbits side of things. It was tough to tell if Florida is just that good or if Greenville is just that bad. If I had to choose a bright spot, it would be that the Swamp Rabbits killed both penalties they faced on Thursday night. Despite playing better on Thursday night, the Swamp Rabbits looked out of sorts all night long.
Florida jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after one period and never looked back. The scoring got started about halfway through the first period. Joe Cox, who has been a Greenville killer early this season, notched his 11th goal of the season to get the scoring started. He had two assists in the two games the teams played last week, and then added a goal and assist last night. Hopefully, the Swamp Rabbits find a way to keep him contained in tonight’s contest.
Shane Walsh scored the other first period tally for the Everblades. His goal came with less than a minute left in the period.
Things settled down a bit for Greenville from there. They started getting decent chances but could not get anything by Everblades netminder Jamie Phillips.
Florida added another goal late in the third period, when Derek Sheppard potted one to make it a 3-0 lead. The goal, his seventh of the season, moved him into fourth place in goals for defensemen.
I feel like I’m on repeat but Chris Nell played well in goal again Thursday night. The Swamp Rabbits defense just did not play well in front of him. He stopped 29 of 32 shots he faced. Nell is now 6-7 on the season with a 2.78 goals against average.
On the other side, Phillips scored his first shutout of the season and fifth straight win.
The same two teams are back at it tonight. The puck will drop at 7:30 pm. It is the annual Teddy Bear Toss game in Greenville. The Swamp Rabbits are looking to split the series against a very good Everblades team.
After tonight’s game, the Swamp Rabbits will travel to Charleston to take on the South Carolina Stingrays tomorrow night.
On a side note, I will be talking with Swamp Rabbits goalie Chris Nell in the next few days to get his thoughts on playing in Greenville and the play of the Swamp Rabbits so far. Make sure you look for that interview within the next week.
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