The long wait for the return of the ECHL has finally come to an end. We were all probably glued to the devices we were listening to, or watching on, as we heard goal horns, cheering and enthusiastic broadcasters for numerous teams across the ECHL.
Greenville’s Season-Opening Victory
On Friday December 11th, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits beat the South Carolina Stingrays by a final score of 3-2 in overtime.
Scoring opened up in the second period when Max Novak got a shot past Ryan Bernard with help from Caleb Herbert and forward Cole Ully. This gave the Greenville trio their first points respectively of 2020-21. Only two minutes and 19 seconds later, centreman Matthew Wedman and Sam Jardine set up Bryan Moore to slide the puck past Hunter Shepard. This would give the Swamp Rabbits a 2-0 lead.
In the third period, South Carolina scored again just two minutes and 51 seconds in with a goal from Caleb Herbert. This would give Carolina a 2-1 lead late in the game against Greenville. Around six minutes later, Ben Finkelstein tied the game with a power play goal with a pair of assists.
Those would be awarded to Brendan Connolly and defensemen Jack Sadek. No further goals were scored until the overtime period, just three minutes in. That would see defensemen Ben Finkelstein score his second of the night and his second of the season. This would be just enough to give the Greenville Swamp Rabbits a win over the Stingrays.
Swamp Rabbits Fall To The Jacksonville Icemen
On Saturday December 12th, just 24 hours after Greenville’s victory, the Swamp Rabbits couldn’t double up, as they fell 4-3 to the Jacksonville Icemen.
In the game’s first period, Jacksonville scored two goals, both having been scored just 30 seconds apart. One was credited to Ara Nazarian with the other being scored by Wacey Rabbit. Moving ahead 15 minutes, Wacey Rabbit scored his second of the night, a power play goal, this putting Jacksonville ahead.
The Swamp Rabbits struggled to score until the last few minutes of the game’s second frame. It was then that winger Kamerin Nault slid the puck right in past Icemen backstop Eamon McAdam. Just one minute and four seconds later, Joey Haddad scored a goal of his own, this putting the Swamp Rabbits within one of Jacksonville.
Yet again, just a minute into the third, forward Nick Saracino extended Jacksonville’s lead with a power play goal, now going up 4-2. Greenville did not respond until forward Mike McNamee scored a power play goal. While that put them within one a second time, it was not enough to force the game into overtime.
Greenville returns December 18th for their opener at home against the Florida Everblades. Puck drop at Bon Secours Wellness Arena is scheduled to fall at 7:05pmET.