North Charleston, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, battled back in North Charleston tonight to force overtime and earn a 4-3 win against the South Carolina Stingrays. Rookie forward Dawson Leedahl netted two goals including the overtime winner to propel Greenville to an undefeated preseason.
The first period reignited the instate rivalry that was seen in the playoffs just a few months ago. The physicality jumped up, resulting in eight penalties called in the first 20 minutes. Greenville sent a flurry of 16 shots onto the net of Jeff Jakaitis, but were held off the board in the opening period
Rookie Nick Roberto scored the first of a two-goal night for South Carolina to open the scoring. South Carolina began their first of three power plays in the period and Roberto cleaned up in front of the cage to score his first goal at the pro level. Nick Johnson and veteran Kelly Zajac were rewarded with assists on the play. Jake Schultz and Jake Flegel added to the action, dropping the gloves for a fight in the final minute of the period. Both skated to the locker rooms and the teams quickly followed for the intermission.
Leedahl would answer the bell early in the second period to tie the game. Greenville would go on the power play early in the period and goaltender Eric Levine would need to make a big save while shorthanded. The save turned into a rush up the ice with Adam Chapie feeding the WHL product in the offensive zone. Leedahl brought the puck to the front of the net and wrapped it around Jakaitis a little over 2 minutes into the middle frame.
Levine split the game with Greg Dodds and the Stingrays jumped all over the new goaltender. On his first series, the Stingrays fired a shot that deflected off the netminder and rebounded to Steven Whitney. On his second attempt, Whitney regained the lead for the Stingrays with less than nine minutes left in the game.
The Stingrays grabbed another goal five minutes later. Roberto came down the ice, trailing Robbie Baillargeon and caught a drop pass from his teammate. A quick wrist shot found the back of the net to give South Carolina a 3-1 advantage at the second intermission.
Greenville’s relentless nature would not give up on the game, again tallying 16 shots in the second period and eventually breaking though Jakaitis again in the third period. Nick Betz tallied his second goal of the preseason a little more than 2 minutes in, cleaning up a rebound in front of the net to pull within one goal.
For the second straight game, the Swamp Rabbits erased a two-goal deficit in the third period to come away with the win.
Ten minutes later, it was Evan Jasper coming in to tie the game up. The rookie walked his way down to the right side of the net and tucked a shot just under the cross bar. The effort forced overtime at the Carolina Ice Palace, giving the fans more free hockey to watch.
Allan McPherson and Sergey Zborovskiy assisted on Leedahl’s game winning goal a minute into overtime. On the power play, the Swamp Rabbits hacked at the puck on the side of the net, freeing it up for a quick shot by Leedahl to end the game.
Overall, Greenville was 2-for-8 on the power play and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill, while outshooting the Stingrays 43 to 28.
OPENING WEEKEND: Greenville begins the season on Oct. 13, 2017 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena against the Wheeling Nailers. Tickets are specially priced at just $10 for this game and can be purchased by clicking here. The puck drops for the Swamp Rabbits’ Opening Weekend at 7 p.m. Join the pregame Fan Fest at 5:30 p.m. for the Dew Street Hockey Zone, inflatables, concessions, music, and more! The Bon Secours Family Fun Pack is also available for this game and includes tickets, food, beverages and a souvenir for just $60! For more information, head to SwampRabbits.com.
CLEAR BAG POLICY: Beginning with the Swamp Rabbits home opener on October 13th, the Bon Secours Wellness Arena will be implementing a clear bag policy for all events. Each ticketed guest will be permitted to carry one large clear bag, either a Ziploc style bag or a 12”x6”x12” clear bag, plus a small clutch purse (4.5”x6.5”). For more information on the policy, click here.
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Contact a Swamp Rabbits Account Executive at 864-674-PUCK (7825) for information on 2017-18 season tickets and to secure your seats today! Get the latest Swamp Rabbits gear by visiting the “Hop Shop” online at SwampRabbits.com/shop to browse the full collection of fan wear and novelties!