Swamp Rabbits Complete Home Finale against Stingrays
Greenville, SC - The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (23-40-7-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, opened the scoring in the first period and hung on into the second intermission against the South Carolina Stingrays (46-16-7-1) tonight. However, a third period surge by the second-place team in the South Division upended Greenville with a 4-1 final score in the home finale. Greenville welcomed a season high 7,601 fans for Fan Appreciation Night, handing out hundreds of prizes throughout the night.
The Swamp Rabbits entered the first period with fire and turned 12 shots on net. One that did not count was Austin McKay who put a quick shot of the outside of the net bringing the crowd to it's feet. The Swamp Rabbits forward put himself in perfect position a few minutes later. Greenville forced the puck to the left wing where Caleb Herbert pushed by the Stingrays defense, finding Shane Walsh below the goal line. The winger fired a pass right to McKay at the left circle for a one-timed shot that beat netminder Parker Milner just over the left shoulder. McKay's 10th of the season gave Greenville a 1-0 lead which held until the first intermission.
The Stingrays countered back with an all-out attack in the second period, out shooting the Swamp Rabbits 17-4 in the middle period. Goaltender Ty Rimmer was spectacular in the contest, halting all 17 shots in the second and making 27 saves through two periods of play. The fifth-year netminder made a pair of show-stopping saves including a sprawling effort along the goal line as time expired at the end of the frame.
South Carolina finally broke through in the third period. Walsh was sent to the penalty box for cross checking, resulting in a Stingrays power play. J.C. Brassard launched a long shot from the blue line, netting the Stingrays first goal of the game 3:06 into the final period to tie the contest.
Three minutes later, Jonathan Charbonneau fought his way to the front of the net, faking out the Swamp Rabbits with a drop pass to Evan Fiala on the left side of the crease. The rookie tapped in the loose puck for his first goal of the season and gave the Stingrays a 2-1 lead. The goal went down as the game-winner for the Stingrays.
Jake Kamrass notched the final two goals, scoring on a breakaway at 8:13 and eventually tallying an empty net goal in the final minute of the contest. Greenville tried to battle back and also went on a five-minute power play in the final seven minutes of the game. The top ranked South Carolina penalty kill held Greenville at bay on the chance and on all three in the contest.
Rimmer made 34 saves in the game while Milner recorded the win with 19 stops in net as the Swamp Rabbits home schedule concluded. Greenville will make the trip to Duluth, Georgia tomorrow to face the Atlanta Gladiators for the final game of the season at 7:05 p.m.
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