Greenville, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (16-13-2-1), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, hopped back into the win column tonight with a 4-3 victory over the Brampton Beast (14-12-1-2) to bounce back and split the week. Greenville’s captain Bretton Cameron returned to the lineup this week and was a key factor in the Swamp Rabbits win while goaltender Brandon Halverson produced one of his best career performances in the crease.
The Swamp Rabbits tallied three first period goals to take the advantage over the Beast. Perfect passing was the name of the game for Greenville early as Matt Prapavessis teed up Derek Sutliffe to open the scoring. The defenseman took the puck from the right corner and sent a spin-o-rama backhanded pass across the ice to the rookie who was wide open in the slot. His second goal of the season was rifled into the net at 8:44 and also earned forward Joseph Widmar his first assist since joining the Swamp Rabbits on Wednesday.
Greenville continued to roll downhill on the Beast minutes later, advancing their lead to 2-0. Evan Jasper stole the puck from goaltender Zach Fucale behind the net and touched the puck to Joe Basaraba in front of the net. The fourth-year forward tallied the goal on a practically empty net, scoring his eighth of the season.
After the Beast picked up a power play goal in the first period, Greenville picked up another tally. In transition, Joe Houk moved down the left wing and looked to the net. Houk’s pass was on the money to Cameron on the right side of the crease, deflecting the opportunity past Fucale. Cameron’s first goal was his second point of the night, earning an assist on Greenville’s second tally of the game.
Halverson produced spectacular saves in the game including a backdoor pass in the second period. After two periods, the second year netminder had made 26 saves on 27 shots and ended the night with 42 stops in the win. His sixth victory of the season bested his counterpart Fucale, who fell for the third time this season after making 36 saves for Brampton.
The scoreless second period rolled into an exciting third frame. Cameron tallied the eventual game-winning goal on the power play, deflecting a long shot from Prapavessis. Greenville held the 4-1 lead at the time of the captain’s third goal of the season, earning him the #1 star of the game. The Swamp Rabbits were 1-for-6 on the man advantage, earning three power play goals in the last two games.
Greenville was not out of the woods in the game though. Brampton responded at 12:25 to cut the lead in half and moments later, Jack Nevins was called for a five-minute major penalty for boarding. Brampton relied on a second power play goal and fourth power play goal in two games at 14:32 to pull within one.
The Swamp Rabbits penalty kill held the Beast from the comeback behind Halverson’s game high 16 saves in the third period. The bounce back was Greenville’s first win since Dec. 16, halting a slide of four games without a victory.
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