Orlando, FLA – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (6-3-1-0), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, took a bite out of the Orlando Solar Bears (2-5-1-0) tonight at the Amway Center, tallying six unanswered goals on their South Division counterpart. Greenville trailed 2-1 at one point of the contest but finished with a 7-2 victory on only 23 shots. The Swamp Rabbits five-game streak ties last year’s longest stretch of victories.
The Swamp Rabbits made quick work of their former netminder Mackenzie Skapski to opening the scoring in the game. An arrant clearing effort from the Solar Bears found the stick of Sergey Zborovskiy at the blue line. The rookie launched a shot at the slot and earned a lucky bounce off the Orlando defensemen as the deflection slid into the back of the net less than three minutes into the game. Zborovskiy’s tally was his third of the season and went down as unassisted.
The Solar Bears answered back and scored a pair of goals on special teams. J.J. Piccinich stole the puck at center ice and went in shorthanded to score his second goal of the season after five minutes of play in the first period. Ten minutes later the Solar Bears grabbed the lead on a power play goal from Max Novak. The lead was short-lived, lasting less than four minutes.
Brendan Troock earned help from the reigning Sher-wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week Allan McPherson and Caleb Herbert to score his fourth of the season. The forward waited on the right side of the net as McPherson fed Herbert, who would extend his point streak to ten games on the pass to Troock. The touch pass from Herbert left a wide open net for the winger to shoot at, earning Troock his fourth goal of the season.
The Swamp Rabbits had scored an ECHL leading 18 goals in the second period and tonight was no different. Greenville rallied for three goals including the eventual game-winning goal from Carter Sandlak four minutes into the middle frame. The fourth-year pro scored from just atop the crease on a rebound to give Greenville the 3-2 advantage. Sandlak has scored game-winning goals in back-to-back games after returning to the ice from injury.
Evan Jasper gave the Swamp Rabbits some insurance at 15:54 of the second period. A turnover by the Solar Bears resulted in a centering pass from Troock to the rookie, who was alone in the slot. The Sacred Heart University alum deked around Skapski to score his fourth goal this year. Brenden Kotyk and Joe Basaraba would connect with less than two minutes remaining in the period on a give-and-go passing play to take a 5-2 advantage into the second intermission. Basaraba sent a hard pass to the defenseman who was streaking toward the net, banking it off Kotyk’s backhand and into the net.
The Swamp Rabbits outburst would chase Skapski from the net after 40 minutes of work. The goaltender made 12 saves on 17 shots as Greenville’s accuracy was astonishing in the game. The team shot over 30% in the game as even relief netminder Cal Heeter couldn’t keep the swamp Rabbits off the scoreboard.
Greenville netminder Brandon Halverson was faced with a heavy push from the Solar Bears in the third period. After seeing only 21 shots in the first two periods combined, the second-year goalie managed to make 24 saves in the third period to shutout the Solar Bears push. Halverson finished his with his second straight win and tied his career high with 43 saves.
Herbert and Adam Chapie were not done in the contest as each forward factored in on two third period goals less than 30 seconds apart. Herbert capped his night with three points while Chapie, McPherson, and Troock all walked away from the game with multi-point efforts.
Greenville and Orlando will face off again on Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. The rematch will be the final game of the week for the Swamp Rabbits, who return home for a third morning game of the season on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 10:30 a.m. against the Atlanta Gladiators.
STAR WARS NIGHT | Friday, November 17 | 7 p.m.
Don’t be the last Jedi to get tickets to the Swamp Rabbits annual Star Wars Night! Get four tickets to the game, hot dogs, chips, drinks, and two Lightsabers by purchasing a Bon Secours Family Fun Pack for $60. Lightsabers are only available for one night, while supplies last, so get yours before they are gone. Meet your favorite Star Wars characters at the game as the Swamp Rabbits take on the Orlando Solar Bears.
POST GAME SKATE | Sunday, November 19 | 3 p.m.
Skate with the pros on Sunday, Nov. 19 after the Swamp Rabbits take on the Orlando Solar Bears. Join the team on the ice after the game for a free skate when you bring your skates to the game. Skate rentals are also available for fans at the game. To grab a Bon Secours Family Fun Pack or get more information, head to SwampRabbits.com.
Get Social: Follow the Swamp Rabbits and get behind-the-scenes coverage like never before on the team’s official Facebook and Twitter pages. Download the Swamp Rabbits app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for up to date information right in the palm of your hand.
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!