Swamp Rabbits Take Over, Score Five During Third Period
Biggest period of the season propels Greenville to 6-2 victory over Admirals, wrapping up six-game road trip
BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Norfolk, VA – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (24-18-4-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, ambushed the Norfolk Admirals tonight 6-2 at the Norfolk Scope, scoring five unanswered goals in the third period. Nick Betz and Michael Joly each recorded multi-goal games in the victory. The win earns Greenville third place in the South Division with 53 points. The Swamp Rabbits are now 2-0 in Norfolk this season and are 3-2-0-0 in five contests against the Admirals.
Patience was the key to the first goal of the game. Joly stepped into the offensive zone on the left side of the ice and walked across the slot absolutely untouched. Admirals goaltender Brandon Anderson went down to his knees to save a potential shot, but the Swamp Rabbits rookie just walked around him. The tap-in gave Greenville the 1-0 advantage at 12:26 of the first period.
Greenville’s goaltender Mackenzie Skapski made some tough saves in the game including a game-high 15 saves in the second period alone. The third-year netminder recorded 30 saves in the contest earning his ninth win of the season.
Admirals defenseman Michael Tam tallied on the power play in the final three minutes of the second period to even the score. The one-timer from the right circle helped the Ad’s go 1-for-2 on the power play. Then Paul Rodrigues gave Norfolk the 2-1 advantage, 3:22 into the final period. His sixth tally of the year came in transition to put his team ahead with less than 17 minutes left in the game.
From there, the Swamp Rabbits produced the best scoring period of the season. Angelo Miceli continued to put his scoring touch on the scoreboard, recording his fourth goal in five games. Greenville’s leading scorer tied the game with his ninth goal of the season on the power play. The Swamp Rabbits ended the game 1-for-4 on the power play thanks to his goal from the right circle.
Betz added the eventual game-winning goal at 11:09, the rookie forward’s first pro goal. Trevor Gerling dropped the puck off to Betz from behind the net before the 6-foot-5 skater hammered the puck into the open net.
Less than a minute later, Joly added his second goal of the game on another open net. He recorded his 12th goal of the season after Troy Donnay shot the puck wide of the net and Oksanen fed him the puck from behind Anderson. Betz would add another goal, battling for the puck on the post. He was able to force the puck into the net and extend the lead to 5-2.
Ahti Oksanen finished off the rally with his 11th of the season from Desmond Bergin. The Finnish rookie was the final on Anderson, who suffered the loss after making 28 saves in the game. Greenville tallied their five third period goals on 12 shots to record the win.
The Swamp Rabbits return home for two more games against the Orlando Solar Bears beginning on Friday night at 7 p.m. It is the fourth annual Stick-It-To-Cancer game. Greenville is 4-4-1-0 and sits two points behind Orlando for second place in the South Division.
STICK-IT-TO-CANCER | Friday, February 10 | 7:00 p.m.
Help the Swamp Rabbits stomp out cancer on Friday, February 10th at the 4th annual Stick-It-To-Cancer night presented by Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. The Swamp Rabbits will wear specialty jerseys that will be available during a post-game auction to benefit the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance. Save money with the Bon Secours Family Fun Pack. Score four tickets, hot dogs, chips, soft drinks and two Swamp Rabbits lunch bags for only $60 at SwampRabbits.com.
SCOUT NIGHT | Saturday, February 11 | 7:00 p.m.
Grab your camping buddy and head to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena for Scout Night when the Swamp Rabbits will celebrate scouting and the great outdoor activities that the Upstate offers! The first 1,000 fans in the building get a free Swamp Rabbits outdoor lawn chair. Be a part of the excitement and get your tickets at SwampRabbits.com.
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Ticket packages and group rates for the 2016-17 season are available now! Contact a Swamp Rabbits Account Executive at 864-674-PUCK (7825) for more information and to secure your seats today! Get the latest Swamp Rabbits gear by visiting the “Hop Shop” online at SwampRabbits.com/shop to browse the full collection of fan wear and novelties!