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SWAMP RABBITS FALL IN OVERTIME; CLINCH FOURTH STRAIGHT PLAYOFF BERTH

Friday, March 29th
SWAMP RABBITS FALL IN OVERTIME; CLINCH FOURTH STRAIGHT PLAYOFF BERTH

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Brett Kemp and Carter Souch both mirrored each other with a goal and an assist for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, but the South Carolina Stingrays got an overtime winner from Austin Magera to take the second point in a 3-2 decision on Friday night. Even though the Swamp Rabbits lost, with their point gained from overtime and a Savannah Ghost Pirates 5-0 win over the Orlando Solar Bears, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits clinched their fourth consecutive berth into the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

South Carolina struck at 11:00 of the first to take an early lead in the penultimate regular-season matchup between the cross-state rivals. In the sequence, Swamp Rabbits net-minder Jacob Ingham blocked Ryan Leibold’s initial shot from the slot, but after a seemingly stationary puck was hacked out of his paraphernalia, Jack Adams quickly poked the puck over the line for his 25th of the season, and the Stingrays 1-0 lead.

Both teams played tug of war in the second frame, eventually leaving the game deadlocked heading into the dressing room. Michael Kim and Kevin O’Neil committed back-to-back minors, putting the Swamp Rabbits on a five-on-three power play. At 6:04 of the second, Carter Souch capitalized on this advantage, redirecting a high-slot shot from Brett Kemp that whizzed by Mitchell Gibson in net for South Carolina, squaring the game at 1-1 (Kemp and Max Martin assisted). Ten minutes later, the Swamp Rabbits earned their first lead of the night when Kemp picked up his second point of the night.. On a three-on-two play with Kemp, Souch, and Joe Leahy, Souch moved the puck all the way up the ice before dishing a cross-ice pass to Kemp, who swiftly found the back of the net with a laser from the right side for the 2-1 lead with 3:54 left in the second (Souch had the lone assist). However, in the blink of an eye, South Carolina responded to level the game. Just eight seconds later, Ethan Strang rushed in the Swamp Rabbits zone with the puck and fired a shot off the post. The shot rebounded off the back of Ingham and rolled in the Swamp Rabbits net, tying the game at two with 3:46 remaining.

Neither team found the back of the net during the third period, sending the Swamp Rabbits to their second overtime period of the weekend, and for a third straight contest. Brannon McManus was called for high sticking halfway through the frame, putting the Stingrays on their only power play of the game. With 3:02 to go, Austin Magera slammed a cross ice one-timer past Ingham to give the Stingrays the second point, and a 3-2 overtime win (Kevin O’Neil and Nick Leivermann assisted).

Jacob Ingham stopped 25 of 28 shots in the overtime defeat (16-7-3-1).

The Swamp Rabbits conclude their three-game weekend tomorrow against the Stingrays, their final matchup in the regular season, tomorrow, March 30th. Puck drop at North Charleston Coliseum is slated for 6:00 p.m. EST.

 

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