ECHL Game Recap: South Carolina Stingrays vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits | 3/30/2024

Bernie Walls/InsideTheRink

The Stingrays were back in action in the Coliseum for First Responders Night, coming off a hefty overtime road win against their cross-state rivals and division leaders, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Mitchell Gibson would once again get the start tonight, even after getting the W last night, and would face Ryan Bednard across the ice.

The first period would be back and forth, both teams trying to find their stride and momentum. Jack Adams would be hauled to the box with four minutes left in the period for a slash. Right as he came out of the box and reentered the action, Anthony Beauchamp would go after Adams. Beauchamp would take him to the ground and scruff with Adams, giving him some time in the box for holding and roughing and giving the Rays the man advantage. Ryan Leibold would take full advantage of the power play and strike first on the rebound.

Within the opening minutes of the second period, Garet Hunt celebrated a goal, as Bednard disagreed and went after the Captain. It was later ruled as goaltender interference, as he headed to the penalty box. Soon after, the Stingrays went on another power play, this time it was Magera to O’Neil to add to the tally. The Swamp Rabbits could not catch a break, with another penalty for delay of game with less than four minutes remaining. The dynamic duo of Magera and O’Neil would make it past Bednard, as Austin Magera would send one home top shelf, putting South Carolina up 3-0. The fun wouldn’t stop there, as Jack Adams would send another one home with 21 seconds remaining in the period, to continue the domination of the Division leaders.

The Swamp Rabbits tried to claw their way back, as Ethan Somoza scored, robbing Mitch Gibson of a shutout halfway through the third period. They continued to pressure the Stingrays, as they had put nine shots on goal in 15 minutes, which is what they ended the second period with. With less than five minutes to go, Bednard was pulled for the extra attacker. Ryan Leibold would head to the box for a hook, putting the Swamp Rabbits on a 6-4. Benton Maass would come up with a huge block for the defense, as the Stingrays continued to hold onto their massive lead. The whistle would blow as the Swamp Rabbits would be called for seven men on the ice, and head to the penalty box, putting Bednard back in and having South Carolina end on a power play. They would let the clock run out, as the Stingrays would win it 4-1. Kevin O’Neil would end the game with four points, as he had a goal and three assists and Mitch Gibson stopped 19 out of the 20 shots he faced tonight, even after playing back-to-back games.

South Carolina is still looking to clinch a spot in the South, as it has become a tight race for the last remaining three slots. It truly might come down to the wire in this division, and every game counts from here on out. The Stingrays will face all Southern Division teams this week, as they hit the road to take on Savannah on Thursday and head back home Friday to face them again, and will face Jacksonville on Saturday.

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