Soper-Man Leads Swamp Rabbits to Victory
GREENVILLE, S.C. - On DC Comics Night, in front of a raucous crowd of over 5,000, Jimmy Soper scored two goals, and Jeremy Helvig made 30 saves as the Swamp Rabbits won nine out of eleven games in the season series and defeated the Norfolk Admirals 4-2 on Saturday night at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Soper's game-clinching tally came halfway through the third period. Dylan MacPherson jumped into the play from the right point, and feathered a feed down low to Matt Marcinew, who put a delightful touch on a pass to Soper who drove the middle lane and stuffed the puck into the goal for his second goal of the game.
Adam Rockwood added the insurance tally into the empty net to put the game away, answering a late goal from Ben Holmstrom to get the Admirals within a goal.
Both teams battled to a scoreless first period, even after the Swamp Rabbits had two power play opportunities. Their first, which game close to the halfway point of the opening frame, generated numerous scoring chances, but was not successful.
The team's third power play chance came when Alex Rodriguez took a hooking penalty at the 19:59 mark of the first period, and gave Greenville an opportunity. Jake Horton took advantage of it on a feed from Patrick Bajkov from the high slot and beat Michael McNiven up high to start the scoring.
Soper followed the goal up with his first of the night. Will Lochead ferried the puck to the net, and a nasty tip from the high slot beat McNiven five hole to double Greenville's lead.
Norfolk responded nearly immediately. On one of the Admirals' five power plays, J.C. Campagna continued to be the villainous Kryptonite to the Swamp Rabbits, as he posted his eighth goal of the season on a rebound opportunity that eluded Helvig up high to cut Greenville's lead in half.
The Swamp Rabbits outshot the Admirals 35-32 for the game and swept the three-game set this week. The nastiness that became a staple of the series also transitioned into Saturday's game, as the two teams combined for 34 minutes in penalties.
Greenville will head to Atlanta to take on the Gladiators for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinée. Coverage on the Swamp Rabbits Broadcast Network and ECHL.TV will start at 12:15 p.m. on Monday.
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Greenville Swamp Rabbits huddle up after a score
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