Greenville, S.C. – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, today announced the team has signed forward Vinny Saponari to an ECHL Standard Players Contract (SPC). In addition, Greenville has acquired goaltender P.J. Musico from Reading in exchange for future considerations, and placed netminder Allen York on the 21-day injured reserve.
A third-year pro, Saponari began the season with the AHL’s Portland Pirates and recorded four points (1g, 3a), six penalty minutes and a +4 rating in six contests. All four of his points came within a span of three games from October 30 through November 4.
No stranger to the Upstate, the 25-year-old is coming off a breakout 2014-15 season with Greenville, in which he led the club with 69 points and tied for 17th in overall league scoring. Saponari also notched a team-high 51 assists (tied for fifth in the ECHL) and added five power-play goals. Those totals, along with his 18 goals and +17 rating, all served as career-bests. In addition, Saponari played three games with Hartford last season and registered one assist.
His most notable performances with Greenville came on December 5, 2014, and February 15, 2015. The first of which was a four-point (4a) effort in his 100th professional game against Orlando, while the latter was another four-point outing (4a) on his 25th birthday against Atlanta.
A native of Powder Springs, Georgia, Saponari spent the 2013-14 campaign with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals and collected 33 points (15g, 18a), 14 penalty minutes and a +11 rating in 58 games. He also made 14 appearances with the Cincinnati Cyclones and notched 11 points (1g, 10a), four penalty minutes and a +3 rating. Saponari made his professional debut near the end of the 2012-13 campaign with the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps and produced two points (1g, 1a) in seven games.
Prior to turning pro, the 6’1, 195-pound forward split his collegiate career between Boston University (2008-2010) and Northeastern University (2011-13). During his freshman season at Boston in 2008-09, he earned 17 points (8g, 9a) and 44 penalty minutes, and helped capture the 2009 NCAA Championship. He also played one season of junior hockey in the United States Hockey League (USHL) for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in 2010-11. In 56 regular-season games, he tallied 64 points (18g, 46a) and a +17 rating, with an additional nine points (5g, 4a) in 11 playoff contests, to help Dubuque win the 2011 Clark Cup Championship.
Saponari was selected in the fourth round (#94 overall) by his hometown team, the Atlanta Thrashers, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Musico, 25, attended training camp with the Swamp Rabbits this season and was signed to a full contract on October 12. He made his professional debut with Greenville in the home opener on October 23 and stopped 25 shots in a 5-3 victory against South Carolina. Musico is 1-0-0 with a 3.00 goals-against-average and a .893 save percentage in his career.
A native of Orange, California, Musico spent each of the last three seasons at Penn State University, posting a record of 10-15-1 with a 3.31 goals-against-average and .899 save percentage in 30 appearances. On October 13, 2012, he earned the program’s first-ever win at the NCAA Division I level with a 32-save performance against AIC. He also collected a 34-save shutout against Army on October 26, 2012, the first shutout in Penn State’s NCAA history.
The 6’1, 195-pound rookie goaltender was signed by Reading yesterday and did not make an appearance with the Royals.
Video Game Night: The Swamp Rabbits will host Video Game Night tomorrow when in-state rival South Carolina visits the Bon Secours Wellness Arena for a 7 p.m. puck drop. All fans are encouraged to dress up like their favorite video game character and a variety of vintage and current video games will be available to play on the concourse. In addition, anyone in attendance can enter for a chance to play another fan on the jumbotron during the game. The Greenville News Family Fun Pack is available for this game featuring four (4) red-level tickets, four (4) hot dogs, four (4) bags of chips, four (4) soft drinks and two (2) foam fingers for just $60!
Trolley On Over: Greenville’s downtown trolley route has been expanded to include a stop at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The deviated route will operate for all Swamp Rabbits’ games taking place Thursdays through Sundays during normal trolley service hours.
Call 864-674-7825 or visit SwampRabbits.com for tickets. Bring a group of 15 or more out to a game and receive great discounts, merchandise offers and hospitality opportunities! Call a Swamp Rabbits Account Executive for more information! Get the latest Swamp Rabbits gear at the “Hop Shop” team store or visit the “Hop Shop” online at SwampRabbits.com/shop to browse the full collection of fan wear and novelties!