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SWAMP RABBITS THRASH GHOST PIRATES, WIN SOUTH DIVISION

Sunday, April 14th
SWAMP RABBITS THRASH GHOST PIRATES, WIN SOUTH DIVISION

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Carter Souch rifled a hat trick, Tanner Eberle picked up three helpers, and Luke Richardson stopped all but one of 36 shots as the Greenville Swamp Rabbits smashed the Savannah Ghost Pirates by a 5-1 score on Sunday. With the win and a Jacksonville Icemen loss, the Swamp Rabbits claimed the 2024 South Division Championship and home-ice for the first two rounds of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. They will play the Orlando Solar Bears in the South Division Semifinals.

A night after getting shut out by the Ghost Pirates, the Swamp Rabbits jumped out to a 2-0 lead and never looked back. At 9:49 of the first, Tyler Inamoto, back in the lineup for the first time since late November, shot a long pass ahead to Tanner Eberle, who rifled a shot from the left side of the zone. Carter Souch picked up the rebound, firing it off the inside of Jordan Papirny’s leg pad and in, giving the Swamp Rabbits a 1-0 lead. Exactly 90 seconds later, JD Greenway sprang Zach Tupker up the ice, the latter entering the zone two-on-one. Tupker elected to shoot and sniped from the left side, beating Papirny for his first professional goal to double the Swamp Rabbits lead to 2-0.

Souch continued his hot game, ballooning the Swamp Rabbits lead early in the second. Just 69 seconds in, Eberle found Souch in the high slot from behind the net, with the latter finishing with a backhand past Papirny’s blocker to triple the lead to 3-0 (Eberle and Ben Freeman assisted). Brannon McManus kept the train rolling over the midway point of the frame, firing a bar-down shot created on a passing sequence in the slot to vault the Swamp Rabbits to a 4-0 lead (Bobby Russell and Anthony Beauchamp assisted). The goal prompted the removal of Papirny from the Ghost Pirates net, leading to Michael Bullion taking over goaltending duties. Nick Granowicz got the Ghost Pirates on the board, poking a rebound off of a Noah Carrol try to the net, the only goal Luke Richardson surrendered, with 15.9 seconds left in the second period to make it 4-1 with 20 minutes to go.

Knowing the Icemen lost before the game ended, the Swamp Rabbits faithful roared as the team chased down towards the finish line of regulation. Carter Souch sent a shower of hats flying on the second-to-last Swamp Rabbits power play of the game, rifling a shot from the right side of the zone past Bullion to make it 5-1 with 9:40 left in the game (Eberle and Josh McKechney assisted). As the clock his triple-zero, the Swamp Rabbits celebrated their 5-1 victory and a South Division Championship, the first division title in Greenville since the Road Warriors did so in their inaugural 2010-11 season.

Luke Richardson, playing for the first time since a win against Atlanta on February 17th, stopped all but one of 36 shots on his net (7-1-1-0).

The Swamp Rabbits now look forward to the 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs, and will face the Orlando Solar Bears in the South Division Semifinals. A schedule for the opening round best-of-seven series will be revealed at a later time.

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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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