GREENVILLE, S.C. - Otto Somppi recorded a goal and an assist, but the Orlando Solar Bears (36-25-4-1) fell to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (23-39-3-3) by a score of 4-2 on Friday night at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Zach Franko gave the Swamp Rabbits the 1-0 lead in the first period after he knocked the puck underneath the pads of Connor Ingram during a scramble in front of the Orlando net at 11:34 of the opening frame.
Jake Bolton extended Greenville’s lead to 2-0 just 46 seconds into the second period with a one-timer from the blue line that slid along the ice and past Ingram.
That prompted Orlando’s coaching staff to make a change in net, replacing Ingram with Clint Windsor.
The Solar Bears responded with a shorthanded goal from Somppi at 3:01 as Troy Bourke dished a pass from behind the net to Somppi, who was positioned at the left side of the net for an easy tap-in past Kyle Hayton. The goal was Somppi’s 10th of the season.
Chris LeBlanc evened the score at 18:17 after Somppi’s shot from the left circle struck the right post, and LeBlanc knocked in the loose puck for his eighth of the season to tie the game at 2-2.
The Swamp Rabbits re-took the lead in the third when Austen Brassard beat Windsor 36 seconds into the third stanza.
Orlando pulled Windsor for an extra skater, but Franko sealed the game with an empty-net goal for Greenville at 19:03.
Windsor took the loss with 10 saves on 11 shots against; Hayton picked up the victory for Greenville with 32 saves on 34 shots against.
1) Zach Franko – GRN
2) Austen Brassard – GRN
3) Otto Somppi – ORL
• Orlando’s magic number to clinch a berth in the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs remains at two points.
• The Solar Bears have a 4-3-1-0 record against the Swamp Rabbits this season, with the regular season series finale set for Sunday, March 31 at 3 p.m. at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
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