Swamp Rabbits Step into Norfolk for Two
The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (21-33-7-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, take the ice tonight at the Norfolk Scope in Virginia and prepare to face the Norfolk Admirals (23-32-6-1) for the fifth time. The puck drops at 7 p.m. from Norfolk to begin a two-game weekend. The Swamp Rabbits have collected points in five of the last eight games and are coming off an overtime loss to the Orlando Solar Bears. Norfolk has dropped seven of the last nine games. Since the last meeting between Greenville and Norfolk exactly one month ago, the Admirals have played just three games on home ice.
GOAL WALSH-ING MACHINE
Forward Shane Walsh recorded the first two-goal performance of his career on Sunday to help the Swamp Rabbits earn a point against Orlando. The 5-foot-10 skater net his sixth and seventh goals of the season to halt a four-game scoring drought. The goals also improved his numbers with Greenville to 17 points (7G, 10A) in 26 games since his acquisition. The West Roxbury, Massachusetts native has tallied four multi-point games this season and 12 in his two-year career.
TWO NEW ON THE CREW
The Swamp Rabbits added a pair of players to the roster today. Forward Ryan Ferrill signed a standard contract with the club while goaltender Braenden Ostepchuk inked an amateur try out deal. Ferrill joins the Swamp Rabbits from the College of the Holy Cross where he logged 138 games and 61 points (28G, 33A) in four seasons. The 6-foot-3 center won the Glenn "Spike" Crane Memorial Award and Seventh Player Award as a junior for his efforts with the Crusaders. This season, the Havertown, Pennsylvania native posted 16 points (6G, 10A) and a plus-3 rating. Ostepchuk comes to Greenville after playing four seasons at Norwich University. The netminder captained his alma mater as a senior and earned a 51-12-3 record in four seasons with the Cadets. The Lethbridge, Alberta native became the starter as a sophomore and posted a perfect 16-0-0 season in 2016-17. During his senior season, Ostepchuk was ninth in the nation with three shutouts and played in 20 of Norwich's 28 games.
Admirals captain Brodie Dupont has collected 63 points (21G, 42A) in 62 games, ranking fifth in the ECHL in scoring. The veteran has recorded 10 points (4G, 6A) against the Swamp Rabbits this year. Dupont has logged 102 games in the last two seasons, earning 104 points (37G, 67A) in the ECHL. In 613 pro games across five leagues, the 11th year pro has earned 373 points (139G, 234A).
BIG PIECES GONE
The Admirals are without rookie defenseman TJ Melancon and forward Thomas Frazee who have combined for 12 points (7G, 5A) in four games. Melancon is currently in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch after earning his second call up of the year. Frazee was shipped to the Allen Americans after posting 22 points (6G, 16A) in 34 games with Norfolk. Melancon is fourth among all defensemen with 42 points (14G, 28A) this year and has net six goals on the power play.
SLEW OF NEW ADDITIONS
Norfolk added five new players on Thursday, inking defensemen Zane Schartz and Alex Brandrup, in addition to forwards Ben Greiner, Jordan Haskell, and TJ Moore. Both Greiner and Haskell signed deals after suiting up at Hobart College. In addition Moore joins the club from the College of the Holy Cross, Schartz signed his deal after playing for Liberty University (ACHA), and Bandrup comes to the Admirals from Norwich University.
Matt Prapavessis ranks fourth in franchise history among defensemen with 55 points (11G, 44A).
Defenseman Chad Duchesne will play his 100th career game tonight.
The pair of games this weekend between Greenville and Norfolk are the final games between the teams this year.
The Admirals have only played 35 games against South Division opponents and are 17-13-4-1 in those games.
Norfolk goaltender Ty Reichenbach has made the most saves in the ECHL this season (1254).
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