Stingrays' Power Play Defeats Swamp Rabbits
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - Two five-on-three power play opportunities in the first period, and a power play tally in the third period catapulted a strong South Carolina Stingrays attack in a 7-4 win over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
The Stingrays eventually pulled away and kept the Swamp Rabbits at an arm's length, even after Greenville took two leads, and eventually tied the game in the second period. Sam Fioretti and John MacLeod broke the tie and gave the home team, celebrating its home opener, a 5-3 lead heading into the third period.
Matt Pohlkamp's power play goal extended the lead to 6-3 at the 14:08 mark of the third period. The Swamp Rabbits had an opportunity with their power play to claw within two, and they did so. Trevor Owens let a shot go from the left point that had eyes and avoided South Carolina netminder Parker Milner to draw to 6-4. It was Owens' first professional tally. Ultimately, another late power play went by the wayside with just over a minute remaining in regulation, as Andrew Cherniwchan put the game away with a shorthanded empty net goal.
Greenville had the lead on two occasions in a wild first period. Michael Pelech received two passes from Austen Brassard, who found a way to tip them past Milner to give Greenville a 1-0 lead, and eventually, a 2-1 lead. South Carolina responded in short order to each tally, as Tim Harrison responded to the first salvo less than a minute later, and the Stingrays struck twice in short order with goals from Tim Davison and Grant Besse on consecutive 5-on-3 chances within four minutes' time to take a 3-2 lead heading into the intermission.
Chris Izmirlian notched his second goal of the season early in the second period to draw even at three apiece. Will Merchant kept fighting into the corner, forced a steal, and fed the second-year ECHL forward in the slot to tie the game.
Devin Buffalo made 29 saves in his first professional start, many of the spectacular variety to keep the Swamp Rabbits in the hunt for two points on the night. While Milner started the night shaky, as he allowed two goals on six shots, he ended the night with 26 saves on 30 chances.
The Swamp Rabbits' road swing continues in a tussle with the Jacksonville Icemen on Friday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. Catch all of the action on the Swamp Rabbits Broadcast Network (mixlr.com/swamp-rabbits).
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