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GREENVILLE FALLS IN SERIES FINALE AGAINST SOUTH CAROLINA

Saturday, March 30th
GREENVILLE FALLS IN SERIES FINALE AGAINST SOUTH CAROLINA

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Ethan Somoza stopped a shutout bid for the South Carolina Stingrays, but the opposition was powered by Kevin O’Neil’s and Austin Magera’s multi-point nights and a 3/5 power play to beat the Greenville Swamp Rabbits 4-1 on Saturday night. The Swamp Rabbits end their season series against their in-state rival with a 5-4-1-0 record in 10 games.

South Carolina struck at the end of the first period on the power play, a common theme in the game. With 1:59 left in the frame, Kevin O’Neil fired an Austin Magera cross-ice pass into the chest of Ryan Bednard, manning the Swamp Rabbits net. The rebound bounced to Ryan Leibold, who slammed the puck in to give the Stingrays a 1-0 lead on the man-advantage. Mitchell Gibson, in net for South Carolina, stopped all four shots he saw.

The Stingrays power play continued to hold serve, scoring twice more in the second frame on near-identical plays. At 6:31 of the second, Kevin O’Neil rifled another Austin Magera pass from across the offensive zone into the Swamp Rabbits net, doubling the South Carolina lead to 2-0 (Magera and Leibold assisted). Mirrored later, O’Neil connected with Magera, who’s shot from the other side of the zone slipped under Bednard to make it 3-1 with 1:40 left in the second (O’Neil and Nick Leivermann assisted). Ending the scoring run of the second was Jack Adams, who notched the only South Carolina goal in even strength: he drove the middle lane in transition with Michael Kim and redirected his pass by Bednard to vault the Stingrays to a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes. Gibson was perfect again for the Stingrays, derailing the five shots he saw towards his net.

Ethan Somoza tried to kickstart the Swamp Rabbits in the final period, and ended the shutout of Gibson in the process. With 9:09 played in the third, Brannon McManus transitioned up the ice and rifled a shot off of Gibson’s leg pad that went to Somoza’s tape. The latter buried his rebound into the open net to get the Swamp Rabbits on the board, trailing 4-1 (McManus and Max Martin assisted). The Swamp Rabbits tried to get more offense going with more skaters, pulling Bednard from his net with less than five minutes remaining, but the Stingrays closed the door to their 4-1 win.

Ryan Bednard stopped 18 of 22 shots tonight in the defeat (20-11-0-0).

The Swamp Rabbits now take to the road to play their final three matchups of their season series with the Orlando Solar Bears next week. Puck drop for all three games at the Kia Center on Thursday, April 4th, Friday, April 5th, and Saturday, April 6th, is slated for 7:00 p.m. EST.

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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.

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