Swamp Rabbits Heartbroken in Charleston
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Greenville Swamp Rabbits led for the majority of regulation, including with just over 90 seconds left in regulation, but the South Carolina Stingrays tied it late, and won it just over two minutes into the overtime session, 4-3 the final score at the North Charleston Coliseum.
A misplay at the blue line led to a breakaway opportunity for the Rays, as defenseman Eddie Wittchow raced ahead on a breakaway. Jeremy Helvig got a piece of the puck, but not all of it, as it trickled into the back of the net to give the Rays the comeback win.
Cédric Lacroix scored to break a 2-2 tie at the 18:29 mark, set up from in below the goal line by Patrick Bajkov and Kamerin Nault to give Greenville the lead late in regulation. The goal forced the opposition to pull Parker Milner.
At 6-on-5, the Stingrays tied the game. Matthew Weis spotted Tom Parisi open for a one-time blast that found the back of the net to pull the game even at threes all, giving both teams a point in the standings.
Greenville held a lead for the majoirty of regulation time. In fact, the Swamp Rabbits held a 2-0 lead after the first period of play.
The Swamp Rabbits struck twice in a minute and 22 seconds of game time. First, Cameron Heath took a spin-around pass from Lacroix along the goal line and beat Milner in between the pads to open the scoring. A stretch pass by Dylan MacPherson, that ricocheted off of Jimmy Soper and right to Mason Baptista who converted on the breakaway.
South Carolina dominated the second period to the tune of a 21-9 shot differential, and scored the only goal of the middle frame. Cole Ully scored early in the second period to cut the lead to one. The story of the period was Helvig's 20 saves to keep Greenville in the lead heading into the third period.
The Rays tied it at 15:10 of the third thanks to captain Andrew Cherniwchan.
Saturday marked the first time that the Swamp Rabbits suffered a loss of any kind when leading after two periods (19-0-1). The Swamp Rabbits picked up two of a possible four points on the weekend.
The two teams will face off once again on Tuesday, February 18 at the North Charleston Coliseum for a 7:00 p.m. start.
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