ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Jordan Timmons made it a one-goal game heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation, but the Newfoundland Growlers pulled away in the final period to defeat the Greenville Swamp Rabbits 6-2 on Friday night at Mary Brown’s Centre. The loss marks only the third time this season in which the Swamp Rabbits have fallen in consecutive games.
Newfoundland found the scoreboard first in the opening frame, and rode the momentum to a 3-1 advantage after 20 minutes. Brock Caufield got the hosts started as he received a long pass from Matt Brassard entering the Swamp Rabbits zone. Caufield shot the puck on edge from the right side and beat Swamp Rabbits net-minder Jacob Ingham, putting the Growlers up 1-0 at 10:45 of the first (Brassard had the lone assist). Moments later, Chase Carter hit paydirt for his first goal at the ECHL level, taking advantage of a scrambly sequence inside the Greenville zone to double Newfoundland’s lead at 2-0 (Jackson Berezowski and Tyler Weiss assisted). However, exactly 46 seconds later, JD Greenway got the Swamp Rabbits on the board when he went coast-to-coast, split the defense, and finished with a close range backhander by Growlers goalie Vyacheslav Peksa to cut the deficit to 2-1 (Max Martin and Jacob Ingham assisted). Despite the life from the Swamp Rabbits, the Growlers finished with the last word on their first power play of the game thanks to Captain Todd Skirving, who jammed at a loose puck in point-blank range of the net to give Newfoundland a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes (Tate Singleton and Brennan Kapchek assisted).
Jordan Timmons had the only goal of the second frame and once again brought the Swamp Rabbits within striking distance. Exactly nine minutes into the middle act, Anthony Beauchamp ricocheted a puck off of Timmons that took an arcing trajectory over Peksa and into the net, slashing the deficit to 3-2 (Beauchamp had the lone assist).
Newfoundland pulled away in the third with three goals and never looked back, beginning with Zach O’Brien’s cross-ice one-timer in transition at 7:25 of the frame to re-establish the two goal lead at 4-2 (Berezowski and Isaac Johnson assisted). With 5:52 remaining in the game, Tyler Weiss fired another one-timer, this time on the Growlers final power play of the game, to create some breathing room late with a 5-2 lead (Singleton and Caufield assisted). Neil Shea put the game out of reach even further with an unassisted empty-net goal with 2:21 left in the game, bringing the contest to its 6-2 final in favor of the Growlers.
Jacob Ingham, making his third start in the last five games, stopped 18 of 23 shots in the defeat (11-4-1-0).
The Swamp Rabbits conclude their “three-in-three” with the Newfoundland Growlers tomorrow night, February 10th. Puck drop for game three is slated for 5:30 p.m. EST from the Mary Brown’s Centre.
About the Greenville Swamp Rabbits …
Acquired by Spire Sports + Entertainment (SS+E) in 2020, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits hockey team have been providing family friendly, live entertainment at Bon Secours Wellness Arena since 2010. Formerly the Greenville Road Warriors, the Swamp Rabbits are the highest-level professional minor league franchise in South Carolina. The Swamp Rabbits are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL's LA Kings and the AHL's Ontario Reign. Greenville is a member of the ECHL, Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League.