GREENVILLE, SC – The Greenville media guide says Swamp Rabbits goaltender Jeff Malcolm stands six-feet-two but in Friday night’s game two of the South Division Semifinal against the South Carolina Stingrays, he played more like he was ten-feet-two.
The netminder recorded 39 saves and made some highlight-reel saves against the Stingrays. The fourth-year pro’s performance earned him 73 saves during two games and improved his career playoff record to 5-2-2.
Tyler Brown connected for two goals to jumpstart the Swamp Rabbits offense, as the higher-seeded Swamp Rabbits defeated South Carolina 4-1 and now have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series that shifts down to the North Charleston Coliseum for game three Monday night.
The Swamp Rabbits came out firing on all cylinders in the first period for the second straight night. Brandon Alderson and Brown collected the first goals of the game as the Swamp Rabbits took the advantage into the intermission. Greenville ended up in 4-on-4 in a period riddled by penalties and scrums. Andrew Dommett took the puck down the ice and Desmond Bergin tossed it across the crease to Brown on the left post. The forward tapped the puck into the net for his third goal of the postseason at 7:56.
Alderson converted on a power play later in the frame. The winger took his time with the puck from the high slot on a 5-on-3 advantage. After some touch passes with Ahti Oksanen and Bretton Cameron, the fourth-year pro tallied his third goal of the playoffs and the eventual game-winning tally. Alderson has recorded two of his goals on the power play, helping the Swamp Rabbits to a 1-for-5 total tonight.
Joe Devin ripped a power play tally to cut the lead in half as the Stingrays finished the game 1-for-6.
Oksanen, Allan McPherson, and Joe Houk connected following a big penalty kill. The play went across the crease twice before Oksanen tallied his second of the playoffs on an empty net. The try faked out Parker Milner at 10:51 as the goaltender suffered his second straight loss with 27 saves.
Brown and the Swamp Rabbits added one more in the second period to tally the 4-1 final score. Oksanen left the puck for the Hamilton, ON native let a long shot fly from the blue line to beat Milner. The shot trickled into the net, giving him his third of the playoffs. The offensive surge from the sixth-year pro has put him one goal shy of his regular season production in just two postseason games.
In the third period the Stingrays thought they had scored a second goal but upon further conversation, the call was reversed. Malcolm became tied up with Joey Leach on the left side of the net and lost his stick. In the meantime, Cody Corbett fired a shot into the net, only to be disallowed. The scoreless third period would result in the Swamp Rabbits victory.
The series shifts to North Charleston, SC for game three Monday night. Faceoff is set for 7:05 pm.