Swamp Rabbits Weekly
The Greenville Swamp Rabbits hosted one last homestand at The Well over the past week. The team picked up the victory in front of over 7,000 raucous fans on Friday night.
A desperate Jacksonville Icemen club came to Greenville in search of coming one step closer to locking up a Kelly Cup playoff spot. They did just that by playing another textbook defensive game. The final three games against Jacksonville were decided by 2-1 scores.
A quick strike by Kamerin Nault put the good guys on the right path just 1:56 into the game. But during the only power play of the game, Jacksonville tied the game, and picked up the game-winner late in the second period. It was a rare game in which one team did not receive a power play.
Friday night saw 7,377 fans pack into the Bon Secours Wellness Arena and cheer the Swamp Rabbits to one of the most entertaining victories of the season. It took a dramatic turnaround- Orlando wiping away a two-goal lead- to make it more entertaining. But an outstanding passing play saw Austen Brassard notch the game-winning goal 36 seconds into the third period to help seal the deal against Orlando. Kyle Hayton made 32 saves in the win as well for the Swamp Rabbits.
Sunday saw Orlando grab hold of the lead three times. The Swamp Rabbits erased it twice to tie the game, but the third time was the charm for the visiting Solar Bears, who had clinched a playoff spot the night prior in Charleston. Orlando utilized another multi-point game from Otto Somppi, who posted nine shots on goal, to help give them the 5-2 win. Danny Perez notched his first pro goal in his first pro game in the losing effort.
3/28 vs. Jacksonville Icemen - L 2-1
3/29 vs. Orlando Solar Bears - W 4-2
3/31 vs. Orlando Solar Bears - L 5-2
FAMILY DENTAL HEALTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Zach Franko - 3 GP | 2 G - 1 A - 3 P
A relative newcomer to the lineup, Zach Franko helped the Swamp Rabbits to a victory on Friday night at The Well. He posted two goals and an assist, including the opening goal, and the insurance tally into the empty net. Franko has five points in nine games with the Swamp Rabbits, as opposed to just three points in nine games with Idaho.
It took four starts, but Kyle Hayton picked up his first win as a Swamp Rabbit on Friday night. His 2.54/.917 split is the best in his ECHL career across the three teams he has played with since his college career came to an end at Wisconsin.
The Swamp Rabbits saw another key player depart over the week. Forward Thomas Ebbing signed a PTO, or a Professional Tryout Agreement, with the Laval Rocket of the AHL. Ebbing spent most of the year in Laval last season.
However, the past week also saw the return of a familiar face to the lineup. For the first time since December 28, defenseman Trevor Owens saw game time on both Thursday and Sunday after his activation off of injured reserve.
Captain Michael Pelech is six points away from tying his career high in points (65). His 44 assists are five away from his previous career high, 49, set during the 2011-12 season where he split with the Toledo Walleye and Cincinnati Cyclones. He ranks 12th in overall ECHL scoring.
The weekend saw a point of emphasis in improvement for next season arise. The Greenville Swamp Rabbits have allowed 19 shorthanded goals against, which leads the league.
The Swamp Rabbits finished with a better home record this season (13-19-4), than last (11-20-5), and allowed 37 fewer goals against at The Well. They also had a significantly improved penalty kill (79.9%) at home this season than last (73.2%).
Wednesday, April 3 | at Norfolk Admirals | 7:00 p.m.
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Friday, April 5 | at Norfolk Admirals | 7:00 p.m.
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Saturday, April 6 | at Norfolk Admirals | 7:00 p.m.
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SOUTH DIVISION STANDINGS
xy Florida Everblades (48-16-6) - 102 pts
x Orlando Solar Bears (38-25-5) - 81 pts
x Jacksonville Icemen (36-29-4) - 76 pts
South Carolina Stingrays (33-31-6) - 72 pts
Atlanta Gladiators (31-28-10) - 72 pts
Norfolk Admirals (26-35-8) - 60 pts
Greenville Swamp Rabbits (23-40-6) - 52 pts
Images from this story
Greenville Swamp Rabbits battle the Norfolk Admirals
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