Preview: One More In-State Battle between Swamp Rabbits and Stingrays
Playoff implications are in plain sight as Greenville meets South Carolina for the final time in the regular season
BY: Briant Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits
The Swamp Rabbits head to North Charleston, SC for the final time this season. The teams are separated by just two points in the South Division standings with six games remaining.
|Tues, Mar. 28||7:05 p.m. (EDT)||at South Carolina Stingrays||Listen – Watch – Twitter|
The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (36-25-4-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, hit the road to North Charleston, SC one more time to meet the South Carolina Stingrays (36-27-2-1). Both clubs are in the hunt for the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs, separated by just two points in the South Division standings. The second place Swamp Rabbits have played 13 games against the fourth place Stingrays this season, collecting a 4-7-1-1 record. Each team has six games remaining in the regular season and at least four games left on their home ice. On March 18th, the Swamp Rabbits overcame a three-goal deficit against the Stingrays in the third period but fell short of completing the comeback in a 7-5 decision.
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Angelo Miceli leads the way for Greenville with 71 points (20G, 51A). The center from Montreal, QC is chasing down Justin Bowers (11-12) for the franchise record for single-season point production. The ECHL’s ninth-ranked point producer rides an eight-game point streak into the contest, earning 14 points (5G, 9A) during the stretch. Stingrays’ leading scorer Rob Flick was loaned to the Manitoba Moose on March 21st leaving Kelly Zajac as the top producer with 49 points (13G, 36A) in 53 games. Zajac has tallied a team-leading 15 points (4G, 11A) against Greenville, while Miceli also leads the Swamp Rabbits with 11 points (2G, 9A) against the Stingrays.
THE OFFENSIVE RALLY
The Swamp Rabbits have been held to one goal or less only eight times this season and since January 15th it has happened only twice. Greenville has scored five goals or more 13 times in that stretch and has averaged 4.14 goals per game. Greenville claims five different 20-goal scorers this season including Brandon Alderson, Ahti Oksanen, Angelo Miceli, Bretton Cameron, and Michael Joly. Also, defenseman Joe Houk ranks second among ECHL defensemen with 16 goals this season.
WHO IS THAT GUY?
The Stingrays signed rookie forward Kevin Dufour four days ago after the completion of his collegiate career at Bowling Green State University. In his first three ECHL games, Dufour earned a pair of assists and tallied seven shots for the Stingrays against Atlanta and Indy. The Falcons alum earned 87 points (54G, 33A) during 154 career NCAA contests.
THE ROAD AHEAD
The Swamp Rabbits remaining schedule features six games against the South Division. After tonight’s matchup with the Stingrays, Greenville will face the Atlanta Gladiators four times including three home contests this week. They end the home schedule on April 7th against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Greenville has won six of nine against Atlanta and topped the Cyclones 3-2 in their only other meeting this season. The Stingrays host the Orlando Solar Bears this weekend before facing Atlanta for a home and home series on April 5th and 7th. They end the season in North Charleston against the Cyclones.
- Swamp Rabbits rookie Ahti Oksanen is on a four-game streak with five points (2G, 3A). The Finnish winger leads Greenville’s rookies with 47 points (21G, 26A).
- Bretton Cameron played his 300th game for the Swamp Rabbits on Saturday night and is 13 games from playing 400 career ECHL contests.
- Each team fell to the Indy Fuel in their last game by a 4-1 score.
- Defenseman Spiro Goulakos has collected seven points (2G, 5A) during a five-game point streak.
- The Orlando Solar Bears are also in action tonight, playing the Adirondack Thunder in Glens Falls, NY.
New York Rangers (46-26-4): 4th – Metropolitan Division
- Last Game: Sunday, 3/26/17 @ Anaheim – 3-6 L
- Next Game: Tonight, 3/28/17 @ San Jose – 10:30 p.m.
Hartford Wolf Pack (22-39-4-2): 7th – Atlantic Division
- Last Game: Sunday, 3/26/17 vs. Providence – 2-5 L
- Next Game: Friday, 3/31/17 vs. Hershey –7:15 p.m.
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