Swamp Rabbits Fall Short in Norfolk
Norfolk, VA - The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (21-35-7-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, fell to the Norfolk Admirals (25-32-6-1) 5-2 tonight at the Norfolk Scope. The Swamp Rabbits tallied a pair of second period goals, but came up short of a comeback against the South Division's northern-most team.
The Admirals struck first in the game and posted 17 shots on net in the first period. Less than two minutes into the contest, Norfolk moved a puck to defenseman Romain Chuard on the blue line. The big 6-foot-6 blue liner launched a shot from the line to net his first career goal and make it 1-0 Admirals.
Greenville posted 13 shots of their own in the period but was halted on their bid for a tying goal. The Admirals eventually extended their lead late in the period. Norfolk forward Darik Angeli cut across the high slot but lost control of the puck. The loose change rolled over to the waiting stick of rookie TJ Moore at the top of the right circle. He wasted no time and launched a shot to the net, tallying his first professional goal at 17:32.
Swamp Rabbits netminder Braeden Ostepchuk made his pro hockey debut tonight and made 15 saves in the opening period and eventually ended the game with 39 saves. At the opposite end, his former teammate at Norwich University, Ty Reichenbach made 31 saves for the Admirals.
Domenic Alberga net the eventual game winning tally in the second period. The Admirals winger extended the lead at 6:02 of the period netting his first of two goals in the game. Max Cook forced a turnover in the left corner and fed his line mate in the slot before a shot came just inside the post.
Greenville broke through moments later to put their first goal on the board. Joe Basaraba was led up the neutral zone with a pass from Sean Flanagan. The alternate captain laced a shot over the shoulder of Reichenbach from the top of the right circle to respond with his 18th of the season.
The Admirals continued to push to maintain the lead. After extended time in the offensive zone, Alex Pompeo would dive out in front of the crease to bat in a rebound. The forward's goal made it 4-1 at 13:18 of the second period. Moments later Pompeo also cost his team a goal as he was called for boarding on the ensuing faceoff.
Ostepchuk made a great kick save on a Norfolk shorthanded opportunity and sprung his team on an odd man rush up the ice. Wade Murphy broke over the offensive line and dropped the puck to Carter Sandlak in the right circle. The winger ripped a shot just inside the left post exactly one minute after Pompeo's tally to make it 4-2 Admirals.
Greenville entered the third period down by a pair. The Admirals defense shut down the effort and notched one more goal by Alberga to post a 5-2 score. Greenville's power play goal helped the team go 1-for-3 on the man advantage while the Admirals were 0-for-2 while a man up.
The Swamp Rabbits return to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Friday night beginning two games against the Jacksonville Icemen. Greenville's Friday night game is also Golf Night presented by Golf for Greenville followed by Pucks-n-Paws / Craft Beer Night. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
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