Swamp Rabbits Weekly
The final week of the season brought the Greenville Swamp Rabbits to Norfolk, Virginia, where the club took on the Admirals to close out the 2018-19 campaign. What awaited them there was a team already eliminated from Kelly Cup Playoffs consideration, but with pride and jobs on the line, plenty to play for. The Swamp Rabbits closed out the season successfully, picking up two points, and scoring 14 goals in the three games.
Greenville never trailed in Wednesday's game. Sure, there were ties, but never were the Swamp Rabbits behind. Even while being wildly outshot 41-29 in the game, and 13-7 in the third period, the Swamp Rabbits endured. The top line of Michael Pelech, Austen Brassard and Kamerin Nault stole the show on Wednesday, posting three goals and four assists.
Up 4-3 heading into the third period, the Admirals tied the game early in the third, and the game went into overtime. A neutral zone kerfuffle led to a two-on-one break, and Jake Bolton buried the biscuit for his 13th goal of the season, and the game-winner.
Greenville took advantage of a struggling goaltender on Friday night. Jeremy Brodeur entered his last start of the season without a win. It stayed that way. The line of Stephen Pierog, Brendan Harms and Daniel Perez dominated this game, with four goals and five assists. Fittingly, all three of them received a star.
Norfolk struck first, but the Swamp Rabbits scored six of the final eight goals of the game. That included a 3-1 lead after the first period, and a 5-2 lead after two. While Norfolk made it a two-goal game late, Brassard put the game away for good with a few minutes to go.
The last game showed the fight and resiliency that the Swamp Rabbits have possessed all season. Down 3-0 after one period of play, Greenville erased that deficit with a goal from J.C. Brassard in the second period, and goals from Pelech and Harms in the third period, both power play goals, to even the score at three apiece.
Norfolk's leading scorer, Ben Duffy, arrived on the scene when they needed him most, and at 12:34, scored the game-winning goal. The Swamp Rabbits dominated the shot count (37-23), had more power play opportunities (6) than the Admirals (3), but ultimately fell just short in the season finale.
4/3 at Norfolk Admirals - W 5-4
4/5 at Norfolk Admirals - W 6-3
4/6 at Norfolk Admirals - L 4-3
FAMILY DENTAL HEALTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Michael Pelech - 3 GP | 3 G - 3 A - 6 P
The captain put forth one of his best weeks of the season with points in all three games, and critical goals at critical times. His six points led the team on the week. His three-point effort on Wednesday helped the club to the 5-4 win. Michael Pelech ended the season with 65 points, good for ninth in the league, and 47 assists, good for fourth in the league.
The Swamp Rabbits saw improvement over the past season. They finished with more wins, more home wins, a better penalty kill, fewer goals against, more shots per game, and fewer shots against per game. Greenville ended the season with wins in three of the last five games.
The Greenville Swamp Rabbits ended with eleven double-digit goal scorers- ten of them on the active roster at the end of the season. Forwards Michael Pelech, Austen Brassard, Johno May, Brendan Harms, Chris Izmirlian, Thomas Ebbing, Will Merchant, Kamerin Nault and Dylan Vander Esch hit 10 or more goals. The only defenseman to hit that mark was Jake Bolton.
The offseason begins! Stay tuned to SwampRabbits.com, our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on everything with our team. Thank you for reading all season long. Enjoy the Kelly Cup Playoffs!
SOUTH DIVISION STANDINGS
xy Florida Everblades (50-16-6) - 106 pts
x Orlando Solar Bears (41-25-6) - 88 pts
x South Carolina Stingrays (35-31-6) - 76 pts
x Jacksonville Icemen (36-32-4) - 76 pts
Atlanta Gladiators (31-30-11) - 73 pts
Norfolk Admirals (37-36-9) - 63 pts
Greenville Swamp Rabbits (25-41-6) - 56 pts
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