ECHL: Swamp Rabbits Loss at Home Against Ghost Pirates Presents a Rabbit Hole of Struggles and Challenges

Greenville, SC—The Swamp Rabbits returned home on Sunday, December 10th, to face the Ghost Pirates for a heated back-to-back game. Previously, on the road in Savannah, the Swamp Rabbits won in overtime from a goal by Ryan Francis. Because of the loss, Savannah had revenge on the menu to get back at the Rabbits’.

1st Period

The first period started out in Savannah’s favour, as revenge was on their minds. Vincent Marleau for the Ghost Pirates would rush down to the Swamp Rabbits zone and fire a snapshot past the pads of Ryan Bednard.

However, the Rabbits’ would change the tide by pressuring Savannah’s netminder Bullion for the next minute. The effort would payoff, as Ryan Francis would net his fifth of the season to make it a tied game at 4:41.

The tie would continue for several minutes, as both teams would go back and forth between both zones. Then, at 7:29, a bad turnover by the Rabbits’ would give Pat Guay the breathing room to make a pass to Simon Pinard for him to score. Turnovers and bad puck handling once again Haunt the Rabbits. The one goal lead would force a choke hold over the Rabbits’, as the Ghost Pirates would press on to try and expand their lead. But, nothing would come of it; Ryan Bednard would make key saves to keep his team at a one goal deficit. Near the 15:00 minute mark, the Bits would pressure Bullion and hold the offensive momentum for the remainder of the first period; they put up four shots before the buzzer. Offensive zone pressure hasn’t changed and is still their strong suit

2nd Period

After 40 minutes of hockey, the score remained 2-1 Savannah. Despite the Rabbits’ pressure on the Ghost Pirates, throwing up thirteen shots on Bullion, they still couldn’t score. Meanwhile, the Ghost Pirates only had four shots on Bednard. The Rabbits’ had the spark to score, but the Ghost Pirates put out the flames before it could spread. Although there was still twenty minutes of hockey left, the absence of scoring would haunt the Rabbits.

3rd Period

For the final twenty minutes of play, the Rabbits started out with a boost of momentum, as they ran over the Ghost Pirates for the first few minutes while posting six shots on Bullion until the 11:00 mark. Then, at 13:00, Boudens would snatch the puck from a Rabbits’ d-man to create a near two on one. Short-handed, Boudens would make a pass from behind to Armour, and Armour would shoot a wrister and score the insurance goal.

Once again, turnovers—Swamp Rabbits players not being able to hold on to the puck—back fires immensely. At 17:21, the Rabbits would go on the PK. But, unlike Greenvilles powerplay strength, the Ghost Pirates failed to produce on their powerplay during the five-on-four. Instead, they would score via another way. At 17:48, Ryan Bednard would get pulled to make it 5-on-5. The Rabbits’ would tear down the Ghost PIrates’ momentum, as they tried to score. However, a few seconds after, the Ghost Pirates ran over the Rabbits, as Greenville couldn’t keep the puck in Savannahs zone to effectively score and usher in goals. As a result, the Ghost Pirates grabbed the puck from a Swamp Rabbit near the blue line, rushed down and pressured Greenvilles zone – who had their net empty. The intense pressure on Greenville along with the net being empty, gave Savannah an easy goal. The empty netter would be credited to Simon Pinard with the assists by Pat Guay and Vincent Marleau. The score was now 1-4, and Greenville had nothing in them to produce anything after the Ghost Pirates empty net goal. And so, the game would conclude on a loss for Greenville. This would make 7-1 Greenville from the meetings with the Ghost Pirates.

Jake Farmer

I'm a photographer and writer covering the ECHL Greenville Swamp Rabbits based in Greenville, South Carolina. Twitter and Instagram: JakeCF.Hockey

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