Game Preview: Swamp Rabbits vs. Stingrays, 7:05 PM Eastern Conference Finals (Game 2)
Greenville, SC - Tonight, the Eastern Conference Finals shift to Bon Secours Wellness Arena for Game 2 between the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and South Carolina Stingrays. The Stingrays lead the best-of-five series 1-0 after recording a 5-1 victory on Wednesday.
Greenville Swamp Rabbits (3-2) vs. South Carolina Stingrays (4-2)
June 18, 2021 | 7:05 PM | Eastern Conference Finals, Game #2 | Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Referees: Andrew Bruggeman (25), Alex Normandin (26)
Linesmen: Brady Fagan (89), Shane Gustafson (87)
Broadcast Information: (Pre-game 6:45 p.m.)
WATCH LIVE: https://www.flohockey.tv/
LISTEN LIVE: https://mixlr.com/swamp-rabbits
Voice of the Swamp Rabbits, Matt Trust and Matt Caldwell on the call
GAME 1 RECAP:
The Greenville Swamp Rabbits dropped a 5-1 final against the South Carolina Stingrays in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday Night at the Carolina Ice Palace. Max Novak opened the scoring for the Stingrays on a 5-on-3 power play goal at 11:58 of the first period. On the rebound of a Cole Ully try, Novak lifted the second-chance effort over Ryan Bednard's pad and into the cage. Dylan Steman doubled his team's lead to 2-0 at 14:14. Next period, the Rays scored twice more to open a 4-0 hole against their in-state rivals. South Carolina captain Andrew Cherniwchan tallied at 5:37 on the power play, and again at 13:11 after redirecting a Tyler Nanne shot. Graham Knott broke Hunter Shepard's bid for a shutout with Greenville's only goal at 6:26 of the third period. Novak tallied his second goal at 18:16 with an unassisted, empty net marker.
THE HOTT KNOTT:
Swamp Rabbits forward Graham Knott has averaged a point per game in his first five career Kelly Cup Playoff appearances. Knott posted two goals in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Indy Fuel. On Wednesday night in Charleston, the Etobicoke, Ontario native provided Greenville's entire source of offense by striking early in the third period.
In the 2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs, Greenville's power play is ranked seventh of eight teams. Entering tonight, the Swamp Rabbits are 2-for-19 on the man-advantage (10.5%). Both power play goals came in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals versus Indy. In Wednesday, the Rabbits went 0-for-3 on the power play against South Carolina. On the penalty kill, Greenville is ranked eighth with 17 successful kills on 21 attempts (81.0%). South Carolina's power play is off to a roaring start in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Stingrays' man-advantage is ranked first in the postseason at 5-for-21 (23.8%), while their penalty kill is ranked sixth at 18-for-22 (81.8%).
AGAINST THE RAYS IN 2020-21:
Greenville and South Carolina went to battle 15 times in the 72-game regular season. The Swamp Rabbits bested the season-series by posting a 9-3-1-2 record against their in-state rival. Eight of the 15 head-to-head meetings were decided after regulation, and an additional two games were decided by one goal in regulation. Max Zimmer led Greenville in the season-series with five goals including an overtime game-winner, and shared the team lead with Matt Bradley with 10 points. South Carolina was paced by Justin Florek's four goals and Caleb Herbert's 10 points.
AROUND THE KELLY CUP PLAYOFFS:
The Western Conference Finals will feature the top seeded Allen Americans and the third seed Fort Wayne Komets. Both teams previously danced in the 2016 Western Conference Finals before Allen captured back-to-back Kelly Cup titles. Allen swept the Utah Grizzlies, 3-0, in the Western Conference Semifinals. Fort Wayne knocked out the Wichita Thunder in a decisive Game 5 on Monday. The best-of-five series between Allen and Fort Wayne is scheduled to kickoff on Friday, June 18 at 8:05 p.m. The complete series schedule is below:
Game 1 - Friday, June 18 at 8:05 p.m. at Allen
Game 2 - Saturday, June 19 at 8:05 p.m. Allen
Game 3 - Monday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Fort Wayne
Game 4 - Tuesday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)
Game 5 - Wednesday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)
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