Saville’s Return Reignites the Pirates’ Flame

Since it is the Ghost Pirates’ first season, we’ve seen many surprises from them this year. So far, they’ve won 15 out of 49 games and are currently in 7th place in the Southern division. Even though they have lost more games than they’ve won this season, the new team has developed a remarkable ability to fight hard in every period of every game they’ve played. This inaugural season, they have the 4th highest attendance in the ECHL. This is outstanding because the incredible historic city of Savannah has never had a hockey team. The Hostess City has done nothing but welcome, loves, and support the Ghost Pirates. This ECHL team couldn’t have a more fitting name, given Savannah’s rich history of haunts and spirits and tales of pirates plundering the southeastern coast. 

One of the things about this new team that helps them is that they are a young and skillful team, with most of their players being 26 and younger. Daniel D’Amato, Peter Deliberatore, Connor Corcoran, Brandon Estes, and Pat Guay had great opportunities to play with their AHL affiliate, the Henderson Silver Knights. Guay, D’Amato, and Deliberatore were with the Knights for the longest time. All of them are back with the Ghost Pirates, except Deliberatore, who got pulled back up. When D’Amato, Guay, and Deliberatore were brought back to Savannah about three weeks ago, Mason Primeau came with them from Henderson and is still in Savannah. Primeau is a very strong and aggressive forward who also plays excellent defense when needed. The 6′ 5, 203 lb 21-year-old scored the first buzzer-beater goal in the Ghost Pirates’ franchise history, on an empty net, along with many other great goals in his time here. 

Last night, the Ghost Pirates faced the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, who are 4th in the Southern division. This game was also the first with Isaiah Saville back in the net after a short-term injury. Savannah started the game with two unanswered goals, finishing the first period up 2-0 and leading with 12-5 shots on goal. Alex Swetlikoff scored first on an assist from Daniel D’Amato. Swetlikoff got another point that period, as he and Logan Drevitch assisted Elijah Vilio’s goal. 17:17 into the first, Mason Primeau dropped the gloves with Justin Nachbaur, getting them both walked off the ice for the rest of the first. The score was kept the same during the second period. The third period didn’t have the best start for Savannah, as the Rabbits tied the game 2-2, with a goal 20 seconds in and another at 1:02 in the last period. However, the Ghost Pirates had an excellent comeback as Spencer Naas had a small breakaway, with the help of Tristan Thompson, breaking the tie. The score remained the same for the rest of the game until one second left in the whole game when Mason Primeau scored a buzzer-beater goal on an empty net. 

It’s not very often that teams score buzzer-beaters in hockey, as it’s most common in basketball, but it gives the players and their fans an exciting adrenaline rush. Tonight, the Pirates faced the Swamp Rabbits again in Greenville, and we saw some surprises in store for Savannah.

While the Ghost Pirates didn’t win their second game against the Swamp Rabbits, they managed to hold them in regulation. The Ghost Pirates got three goals this evening but left with only one point. Their two goals in the first period came from Connor Corcoran and Mason Primeau, with assists from Primeau, Guay, Tuzzolino, and Drevitch. Their third goal was in the third period from Brent Pederson on an unassisted breakaway.

A fight broke out between Logan Drevitch and Ethan Cap at almost the last second into the game. Early into the first period, Savannah’s Cole Stallard was slashed very hard into the boards and taken to the hospital in an ambulance. His injury and current status is unknown. Since the arena’s ambulance left, the second period’s start was delayed as everyone waited on a backup ambulance. At the end of regulation, both teams had tied scores, but Greenville managed to snag a goal at 4:15 into the 1st overtime period.

While the Ghost Pirates lost in overtime, they fought hard in all 3 of their games this weekend. They played the Utah Grizzlies on Friday, which are a very good and strong team. The Swamp Rabbits are also a strong team who managed to play a better offense than Savannah tonight. One of the Ghost Pirates players, goaltender Jordan Papirny, got the 3rd star of the game tonight in Greenville as he saved 50/54 shots on goal. The Ghost Pirates will be back in the fight again Friday against the Fort Wayne Komets.

Gabrielle Klempner

Hello! I'm Gabi and I mainly cover the ECHL's Savannah Ghost Pirates, but also the Vegas Golden Knights and the Seattle Kraken. For updates, articles, and more on these teams, follow me on Twitter @gabriellediane0

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