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SOMOZA’S WINNER LEADS SWAMP RABBITS TO ROAD TRIP SWEEP

Thursday, March 7th
SOMOZA’S WINNER LEADS SWAMP RABBITS TO ROAD TRIP SWEEP

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Ethan Somoza rifled a laser at 7:53 of the second period to break a 1-1 deadlock, and coupled with Ryan Bednard’s 32 saves on 33 shots powered the Greenville Swamp Rabbits to a 2-1 win against the Savannah Ghost Pirates on Thursday night. The win gives the Swamp Rabbits a 40-win season for the eighth time in Greenville professional hockey history, back-to-back 40-win seasons for the second time in franchise history, and knocks their magic number to clinch a spot in the 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs to 15 with 14 games remaining. 

Both teams started off the game deadlocked and left it as such, with each igniting the goal lamp once. Ryan Francis put Greenville on the board first when he entered the Ghost Pirates zone down the middle, took on his defender one-on-one, and fired a shot from the high slot. His shot deflected off of his assailant and fluttered by Savannah goalie Jesper Vikman, giving the Swamp Rabbits a 1-0 lead at 9:29 of the first period. Savannah deadlocked the game late in the first, with Keltie Jeri-Leon squaring things up. Off the Rush with 2:08 left in the first, Jeri-Leon sent a shot from the right circle that slipped under Swamp Rabbits net-minder Ryan Bednard, squaring the game at 1-1 (Brandon Estes had the lone assist).

The game was deadlocked until the middle part of the second period, when a solid breakout led the Swamp Rabbits to pull ahead. With 7:53 left in the second, Jake Stevens bumped the puck to Tanner Eberle, who slipped a cross-ice pass to Ethan Somoza, triggering a two-on-one entry. Somoza elected to toe drag and uncork a laser past Vikman’s blocker up top, putting the Swamp Rabbits in the driver’s seat with a 2-1 lead (Eberle and Stevens assisted).

The Swamp Rabbits locked down the third period once again defensively, and weathered a late storm from Savannah. The Ghost Pirates came close a few times, and had a great chance to tie the game late with a power play and extra-attacker in the final 30 seconds of the game, but Greenville stood its ground and hung on for a 2-1 win, sweeping all four games of their road trip against Atlanta, Orlando, and Savannah.

Ryan Bednard stopped all but one shot of 33 faced over 60 minutes, anchoring a team-leading 18th win of the season (18-9-0-0).

The Swamp Rabbits return back home to take on the Toledo Walleye for a pair of games at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Puck drop for game one on Friday, March 15th, is slated for 7:05 p.m. EST. The game is our annual “Faith and Family Night”, presented by HIS Radio and LeafFilter, and features live music on the Furman Plaza starting at 5pm, and a celebration of faith, fellowship, and family throughout the course of the game. Saturday’s rematch on Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day, presented by Helacious, and features specialty St. Patrick’s Day themed jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game. The Swamp Rabbits complete their weekend on Sunday in Jacksonville to square off against the Icemen on Sunday, March 17th, with puck drop set for 3:05 p.m. EST at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

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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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