North Charleston, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (35-24-4-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, battled back multiple times during tonight’s contest against the South Carolina Stingrays (33-26-2-1) but ultimately dropped a 7-5 decision. The Swamp Rabbits and Stingrays meet one more time this season, after playing 13 games to this point.
The Swamp Rabbits entered the third period in a 5-2 deficit. The team rallied back to score three goals in the first seven minutes of the period to tie the game at 5-5. Angelo Miceli began the scoring surge, netting a quick pass from Bretton Cameron in the right corner. Miceli fired his 20th goal into the top right corner of the net from the right circle at 3:48.
Quickly following was Allan McPherson less than two minutes later. Spiro Goulakos entered the offensive zone and circled all the way to the left point. From there, he laced a pass over to McPherson to hammer the puck between the pads of Parker Milner. McPherson’s sixth of the season cut the lead to one.
The lead lasted just over a minute. Tristan King caught a beautiful pass from Desmond Bergin as he broke toward the net on the right side. At the hash marks, King was 1-on-1 with Milner and ripped his second goal of the evening to tie the game.
One turnover gave the lead back to the Stingrays and proved to be the game-winning goal. Steven McParland was able to scoop up a chance in the offensive zone after a fanned pass came to his stick in the high slot. South Carolina would add an empty net goal to finish the game.
The Stingrays would begin the night, scoring the opening goal just before the halfway point of the first period. After a quick push up the ice, Patrick Gaul sprung a 2-on-1 with Olivier Archambault. The pass across was on the money and Archambault tucked a shot under the cross bar from the right circle.
Greenville had a prime opportunity only a moment later on a 5-on-3 power play. The Stingrays defense held through the nearly two minute situation and eventually took the lead into the intermission.
Archambault tacked on another goal at the start of the second period, extending the Stingrays lead to 2-0. The puck bounced to his stick off of Wade Epp for a quick shot that found the net at 3:48 of the second period. Greenville’s answer was fast and furious.
King battled off a faceoff less than two minutes later and eventually got the puck on his stick. A quick shot beat Milner on the short side. Then at 11:15, Tommy Thompson took a chop at a loose puck in the right circle. The rookie’s effort on the backhand popped into the net to tie the score at 2-2.
Archambault tallied one more for the hat-trick followed by a pair of goals from Andrew Cherniwchan to regain the lead.
Swamp Rabbits goaltender Brandon Halverson ended the game with 24 saves among some difficult plays. The netminder was forced to come out and deny a breakaway effort, diving out to poke check the puck away. At the opposite end, Milner made 22 saves for the win.
The Swamp Rabbits return home to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Friday night. At 7 p.m. Greenville begins weekend set of out-of-conference games against the Indy Fuel.
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