Swamp Rabbits Weekly
The Swamp Rabbits had two games that sandwiched Thanksgiving. The road swing began in Jacksonville, where the Icemen were looking to avenge a 2-1 loss just a week ago, and it continued on Black Friday in Atlanta, where the Glads put a hurting on them last week.
Jacksonville jumped out to a 2-0 lead on home ice on Thanksgiving Eve, and stayed one step ahead of the Greenville comeback effort. Emerson Clark struck under five minutes into the action, and Brendan Warren doubled the lead towards the halfway point of regulation, even with a strong effort from Ryan Bednard in the Greenville goal.
Swamp Rabbits captain Michael Pelech struck 32 seconds after Warren's goal, and made history in the process. That goal was the 500th point of his ECHL career. He became the 29th player in league history to hit that milestone.
Down 3-1 heading into the third, Greenville inched a step closer on a goal from Mason Baptista halfway through the third period, but Clark, the former Swamp Rabbit, put the game away with an empty net goal.
Friday saw a true battle for position in the South Division. The Swamp Rabbits' nearest neighbor in the standings was fourth-place Atlanta, and a win would give them some breathing room before their next matchup in two weeks. The first period went as planned- staked out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Liam Pecararo and Matt Marcinew, and keeping Atlanta to just 13 shots.
The rest of the game, however, did not go according to plan. Thankfully, Jeremy Helvig picked the best day to rebound from the worst start in his pro career in grand style.
The Gladiators threw 30 shots towards the Greenville goal in the second period alone, and Helvig stopped 29 of them. Atlanta eventually tied the game at two early in the third period, and the Swamp Rabbits continued to hold on against the Gladiators' siege, but one mistake by the home club was all the opportunity Pecararo needed to put the game away.
A stretch pass from Adam Larkin caught Pecararo in stride, and after an Atlanta defender lost an edge on his pivot, the shifty forward converted on the breakaway to give Greenville the game-winning goal with just under two minutes to play in regulation.
11/27 at Jacksonville Icemen - L 4-2
11/29 at Atlanta Gladiators - W 3-2
Greenville Swamp Rabbits at Norfolk Admirals
Friday, December 6 - 7:30 p.m.
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Greenville Swamp Rabbits at Norfolk Admirals
Saturday, December 7 - 7:30 p.m.
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PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jeremy Helvig - 1 GP | 1-0-0 | 2.00 GAA | .966 sv%
Black Friday is usually known for savings. In that case, savings are exactly what happened on Black Friday of 2019 for Greenville's Jeremy Helvig. The goaltender set a new career-high in saves with 56 in an improbable 3-2 win over the Atlanta Gladiators. He stopped 29 of 30 in the second period alone. The win was the 30th of his ECHL career, giving him an incredible 30-10-4 career mark with four shutouts, a 2.43 GAA and a .919 save percentage.
The Swamp Rabbits continue to hold one of the best points percentages in the league when scoring first (.818).
On the road, Greenville's power play is amongst the best (8th) at 19.5%.
Among rookies, Liam Pecararo leads the league in scoring (21 points), goal scoring (13 goals), and shorthanded goals (2).
Goaltender Ryan Bednard has gotten the majority of the starts for Greenville this season, and ranks fifth in the league in minutes played (784). He ranks fourth in wins (6).
Greenville's top defensive point scorer, Adam Larkin, ranks tied for the 6th-most points among defensemen in the ECHL (12).
SOUTH DIVISION STANDINGS
South Carolina Stingrays (14-2-0) - 28 pts
Florida Everblades (12-6-2) - 26 pts
Greenville Swamp Rabbits (11-9-1) - 23 pts
Atlanta Gladiators (9-8-0) - 18 pts
Jacksonville Icemen (6-9-3) - 15 pts
Norfolk Admirals (6-14-3) - 15 pts
Orlando Solar Bears (5-9-4) - 14 pts
Images from this story
Greenville Swamp Rabbits vs. the Norfolk Admirals
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