TOSTI: Swamp Rabbits and Monarchs Clash for Rubber Match
Greenville hosts Manchester in final outing of five-game season series to begin 3-in-3.
|Thurs, Feb. 15||7:00 p.m. (ET)||vs. Manchester Monarchs||Listen – Watch – Twitter|
BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits
The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (20-25-3-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, hit the ice tonight at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena at 7 p.m., meeting the Manchester Monarchs (29-16-3-1) for the fifth time this year. Greenville is looking to halt a three-game slide as the team prepares to play three games in three nights. The Swamp Rabbits have scored 14 goals in four games with Manchester this season, earning a pair of victories over the Monarchs.
RUBBER MATCH GAME
The Swamp Rabbits and Monarchs have split their first four meetings this season. In the even series, the home team has taken the first game of a weekend set. Greenville responded to Manchester’s opening win in October as netminder Ty Rimmer made 50 saves in a 4-1 victory. The Swamp Rabbits then added a second victory against the Monarchs in December, holding onto a 4-3 victory that was spread out over two nights due to an ice delay. Greenville is also finishing a season-long series against the North Division. Through nine games, the Swamp Rabbits are 4-4-1-0 with games against Manchester, Wheeling, Adirondack, and Brampton.
BACK FOR THE FIRST TIME
Defenseman Jake Schultz joins the Greenville Swamp Rabbits after suiting up with the team in training camp. The blue-liner was the final player released prior to the 2017-18 season opener and hopped over to Mississippi to skate for the RiverKings. The rookie has played 35 SPHL games, logging three points (1G, 2A) but leads his team and is fourth in the league with 118 PIMS. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound defender turned pro after playing two seasons in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL). Schultz posted 27 points (9G, 18A) and 212 PIMS in 43 games with the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs and the New England Wolves.
PEAKS AND LA-VALLEE’S
Monarchs veteran Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman is among the top scorers in the ECHL, tallying 52 points (26G, 26A) in 47 games this season. After being held to just four points in the first seven games of the 2018 calendar year, the 2005 Atlanta Thrashers Draft Pick has recorded 19 points (8G, 11A) in his last eight contests. The Corvallis, Ontario native earned his second Sher-Wood Hockey / ECHL Player of the Week honors to begin the month of February and is tied for sixth among all ECHL skaters.
The Monarchs are on a short break away from home, starting a three-game trip against the South Division. Manchester has played the last five games at Southern New Hampshire University Arena, going 4-1-0-0 in that stretch. Manchester’s road record is 15-8-2-1 but have only been away from SNHU Arena twice in the last month, splitting games with the Wheeling Nailers. After this week, the North Division leaders will play ten of the next 12 games on their home rink.
- Rookie Evan Jasper is Greenville’s top active scorer with 36 points (15G, 21A) and is ninth among all rookies this season.
- Greenville’s penalty kill is 26-of-28 (92.9%) in the last seven games.
- The Monarchs swapped out forward Sam Kurker and goaltender Branden Komm this week for defenseman Michael Downing and Francois Beauchemin who returned from the AHL.
- Only two other teams have scored more goals than Manchester this season with 185 tallies (Fort Wayne | 211, Wheeling | 189).
- Monarchs forwards Joel Lowry and Matt Leitner have provided the most offense against Greenville, recording a combined 17 points (5G, 12A) in four games.
THIRSTY THURSDAY presented by Harbor Inn | TONIGHT, February 15 | 7 p.m.
Thirsty Thursday presented by Harbor Inn features great drink specials at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Enjoy $3 domestic beer and select $2 concessions from 6-8 p.m. at the arena concession stands. Grab two tickets for $20 through the Swamp Rabbits office or at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena box office.
ADVANCED MANUFACTURING & ENGINEERING NIGHT presented by Michelin | Tuesday, February 20 | 7 p.m.
The Swamp Rabbits will face the Atlanta Gladiators for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Night presented by Michelin. The night will offer students the ability to learn more about Michelin’s school programs and see demonstrations on the concourse. It is also a 2-for-$20 Tuesday and enjoy our Hoppy Hour specials, including $3 domestic beer, and select $2 concessions from 5-8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased before the game through the Swamp Rabbits office or at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena box office.