North Charleston, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (12-7-2-0), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, completed an improbable comeback tonight against the South Carolina Stingrays (10-4-3-1) to earn a 5-4 victory in overtime. The Swamp Rabbits were down by two goals on two separate occasions in the game, but rallied to tie the contest each time. After a late goal in regulation by Joe Houk, the Swamp Rabbits would seal the win 14 seconds into overtime as the defenseman led Allan McPherson on a mini breakaway.
In the third period, the Swamp Rabbits trailed 4-2 and needed to battle back against an aggressive Stingrays fore-check. Greenville would have their eighth power play of the game cut short by a penalty and forced to a penalty kill with a little more than 10 minutes left in the contest. After killing the two-minute minor, Greenville moved into the offensive zone with numbers. McPherson caught a long pass from Brenden Kotyk and moved down to the left circle to drop off a pass to Caleb Herbert. The trailing forward walked across the slot and outlasted goaltender Parker Milner to tuck in his 15th goal of the season and second tally of the contest.
One final power play chance was all Greenville needed to tie the game. The Swamp Rabbits pulled goaltender Ty Rimmer with less than three minutes left in the contest to earn a 6-on-4 advantage. Despite being held off the board on the first eight chances on the man-advantage, Greenville connected with a long one-timer from Houk at the blue line. Matt Prapavessis sent the pass right to his defensive partner at the line, tying the game with 1:10 left to play in regulation.
McPherson’s overtime tally came soon after a faceoff win to open the extra period. Houk fed the pass to the wide open fifth-year forward on the left side of the ice. As he walked in uncontested, McPherson tucked a shot inside the left post to earn his first game-winning goal in over a year.
The Stingrays put Greenville down in the first period by two goals on shots from the hash marks. Both Kelly Zajac and Taylor Cammarata walked into the low slot and launched shots past goaltender Ty Rimmer. The Swamp Rabbits recorded 12 shots in the frame, but were held off the board until the second period.
Herbert put his team on the board with a scrappy goal six minutes into the second period. With the puck resting in the crease, the fourth-year pro started his two-goal night jamming the puck into the net through the pad of Milner. Two minutes later, Austin McKay added a second goal to tie the contest. Sergey Zborovskiy launched a shot from the blue-line with the 6-foot-5 forward providing a screen atop the crease. McKay tipped the shot in for his third goal of the season.
However, Frankie Simonelli put the ‘Rays back on top with his third goal of the season at 11:39. The shot through the screen beat Rimmer to earn a 3-2 advantage into the second intermission.
Cammarata grabbed the Stingrays final goal 1:07 into the third period but could not keep Greenville from countering in the third frame. Milner suffered the loss in the game with 33 saves while Rimmer earns the win with 15 saves. Greenville owned the shot differential 38-19, going 1-for-9 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Swamp Rabbits and Stingrays face off again on Tuesday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. The teams then change venues on Thursday as the Greenville hosts their interstate rival on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
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