Bretton Cameron Nets Hat Trick in Victory Over Solar Bears
Swamp Rabbits captain catapults Greenville to a 5-3 win over Orlando on Stick-It-To-Cancer night
BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Greenville, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (25-18-4-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, were in store for an emotional contest when the puck dropped for the 4th annual Stick-It-To-Cancer game presented by Bon Secours St. Francis Health Systems. The night turned into an overjoyed outing as Bretton Cameron netted his first hat trick in three years to propel the Swamp Rabbits to a 5-3 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears. The teams are now tied for second in the South Division standings and will face-off again tomorrow at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
The Swamp Rabbits captain began his night to remember with a first-period goal, halfway into the opening frame. The puck came around the net on a shot from Nick Betz that sailed wide and Cameron put the puck off the goaltender Ryan Massa and in from below the goal line. Betz has earned the first three points (2G, 1A) of his career in the last two games. Massa would suffer the loss after making 29 saves.
Grenville went to the break with the 1-0 lead as Mackenzie Skapski stole the show in the first period, making a game-high 13 saves. The third-year netminder from Abbotsford, BC earned his tenth win of the season making 34 saves. Skapski ranks fourth in Greenville history with 15 wins for the Swamp Rabbits.
Momentum was on the Swamp Rabbits side as the second period began. In transition, Brandon Alderson turned a 3-on-1 up the ice. Joe Houk netted his 11th goal of the season on a tick-tack-toe passing play to extend the lead a minute into the period. Alderson is one point shy of a career best point total earning 26 points (11G, 15A) in 22 games.
Orlando would not go down without a fight, netting two goals in transition to tie the game at the seven-minute mark of the second period. Greenville would have to battle back to tally a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the period.
Ahti Oksanen netted his 12th goal of the season during a Greenville 2-on-1. Michael Joly delayed and fired the puck across the ice to the Finnish rookie for a quick wrist shot. A little more than a minute later, Cameron added his second of the game on the power play. The Swamp Rabbits 1-for-5 effort on the power play came thanks to an Alderson’s hard shot off the end boards bouncing to Cameron’s stick in front. The goal proved to be the ggame-winner but the third-year captain was not done there.
After a big battle during the third period, the Solar Bears pulled Massa out of the net for an extra attacker. Alderson’s third helper of the game helped spring Cameron for his third goal. The empty net goal sealed Greenville’s second hat trick of the season and the captain’s first hat trick since 1/17/13 against the Gwinnett Gladiators. The 5-foot-11 forward leads the Swamp Rabbits with 16 goals, the most he has scored in a single season since his rookie campaign of 2010-11.
Greenville and Orlando face off tomorrow night for the tenth time this season and the final game at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena this year. The Swamp Rabbits own a 5-4-1-0 record against Orlando and seek their fifth straight win on the Sandlapper Securities Rink.
SCOUT NIGHT | TOMORROW, 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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