Preview: Swamp Rabbits Face Gladiators on Monday Night
THE STORY COMING IN
The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (6-8-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, open their busiest stretch of the season tonight (five games in seven days) when they battle the Atlanta Gladiators at 7 p.m. at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Greenville enters the contest on a four-game unbeaten in regulation streak at home, and is coming off a 3-2 victory on Friday against South Carolina. Sean Escobedo, Bretton Cameron and Kodie Curran each scored for the Swamp Rabbits, while Jeff Malcolm (3-1-1) made 22 saves in the win. Tonight marks the last home game for Greenville until Dec. 3, as the team begins a four-game road trip on Wednesday.
ROYALTY AT THE WELL
The Swamp Rabbits will welcome royalty at tonight's game for "Princess Night!" Elsa, Anna and Tiana, as well as Olaf, will all be in attendance and available to sign autographs on the concourse throughout the evening. In addition, fans can take advantage of 50% off tickets to Disney on Ice (Nov. 25 - Nov. 29) at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena box office through the start of the third period. This offer will only be available to fans who attend tonight's game. The special tickets will only be available for purchase at the indoor ticket windows on the concourse during the Swamp Rabbits' game. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Tonight's contest is the fourth of 15 meetings between the Swamp Rabbits and Gladiators this season, and the third of eight matchups in the Upstate. Atlanta currently leads the series 2-1-0 after a pair of wins on Oct. 30 and Nov. 15. In their last meeting, the Glads scored twice on the power play and goaltender Kent Patterson made 29 saves in Atlanta's 4-1 win at the Infinite Energy Center eight days ago. The Swamp Rabbits went 9-2-0 against the Gladiators last season and lead the all-time series 42-26-5. Atlanta will be Greenville's most common opponent in 2015-16.
VIEW FROM ATLANTA
After starting the season 6-2-1 through its first nine games, head coach Andy Brandt's club has lost four of its last five and has dropped to fourth in the South Division standings. In their last outing on Saturday, Atlanta struggled to find the back of the net in a 3-0 setback to the South Carolina Stingrays, in which goaltender Mark Dekanich made 39 saves for the shutout. The Gladiators are led in scoring by their 33-year-old captain Derek Nesbitt with 12 points. Nesbitt's seven goals also pace the team. Tonight is Atlanta's first road game since Nov. 12, which was also in Greenville.
The Swamp Rabbits shuffled their roster this afternoon by adding a pair of skaters from the AHL's Syracuse Crunch. Greenville's leading goal-scorer, rookie forward Brian Hart, was reassigned to the club by Tampa Bay, while defenseman Charlie Dodero was loaned by the Crunch. Dodero did not make an appearance during his latest stint with Syracuse, while Hart played three games with no points. However, Hart, a second round pick (#53) by Tampa Bay in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, has scored six times in just 12 ECHL games this season. Greenville also added emergency backup goaltender Colin Mayberry and placed forward Domenic Alberga on the reserve. Hart and Dodero are both expected to play tonight.
Third-year forward Scott Fleming is on a team-best five-game point streak (4g, 3a), dating back to Nov. 12. His productivity over that span has lifted him to second on the club in goals (5) and points (10). Greenville's longest point streak this season is six games, which was recorded by Jack Combs from Oct. 17 through Oct. 31. Last season, Fleming ranked fifth on the United Kingdom's Fife Flyers (ELITE) with 59 points in 62 games.
EMBRACING THE EXTRA MAN
The Swamp Rabbits are 5-0-0 when scoring at least once on the power play this season and currently rank eighth on the man-advantage at home (6-for-28). In addition, Greenville is 2-for-8 on the power play against Atlanta this season, but the penalty kill is just 9-for-14 against the Glads. Greenville is 4-1-0 when not allowing a power play goal in a contest this season.
Michael St. Croix is four points from his 100th professional tally... Greenville is 4-0-0 when allowing two goals or fewer.
New York Rangers (15-3-2, 1st Metropolitan): Next vs. Nashville- Tonight, 7 p.m. ET
Hartford Wolf Pack (8-9-2, 5th Atlantic): Next vs. Springfield - Friday, 7:15 p.m. ET
Get Social: Follow the Swamp Rabbits all season long and get behind-the-scenes coverage like never before on the team's official Facebook and Twitter pages.
Trolley On Over: Greenville's downtown trolley route has been expanded to include a stop at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The extended route will operate for all Swamp Rabbits' games taking place Thursdays through Sundays during normal trolley service hours.
Call 864-674-7825 or visit SwampRabbits.com for tickets. Bring a group of 15 or more out to a game and receive great discounts, merchandise offers and hospitality opportunities! Call a Swamp Rabbits Account Executive for more information! Get the latest Swamp Rabbits gear at the "Hop Shop" team store or visit the "Hop Shop" online at SwampRabbits.com/shop to browse the full collection of fan wear and novelties!
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