In front of a crowd made up of mostly students Tuesday morning at the North Charleston Coliseum, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (19-33-3-2) got out to a two-goal advantage in the third and held on despite a late push from the South Carolina Stingrays (25-25-5-0) for a 3-2 decision in the first game of a home-and-home series between the two teams this week.
Forwards Patrick Gaul and Shane Eiserman scored for the Stingrays in the loss, while goaltender Parker Milner got the start and made 23 saves.
After a scoreless first period, Austen Brassard got Greenville on the board first with a tally at 7:40 of the second period to make it a 1-0 game.
Gaul had a quick response 45 seconds later to tie things up at 1-1 at 8:25 of the middle period with assists from defensemen Cam Bakker and Mike Chen.
Then with three seconds remaining in the middle frame, Travis Howe beat Milner with a low shot to give the Swamp Rabbits a 2-1 advantage heading into the third period.
Greenville extended their lead to 3-1 9:00 into the final frame when Brendan Harms got out on the forecheck to help create a steal, then wristed a quick attempt into the back of the net.
Eiserman got SC within a goal at 15:07, scoring his ninth of the year on a rebound at the side of the net with assists from defensemen Tim Davison and John MacLeod.
The Rays had the edge in shots on goal during the third period by a 12-4 margin, but we were unable to draw even late in the game.
Greenville netminder Garrett Bartus picked up the win for the Swamp Rabbits with 28 saves in the contest. Neither team was able to score on the man-advantage, with Greenville ending at 0-for-2 and South Carolina going 0-for-4 on the power play.
The Stingrays will be in Greenville to battle the Swamp Rabbits for the eighth time this season on Thursday night at 7 p.m. South Carolina returns to North Charleston Saturday for the team’s annual Pink In The Rink Night at 7:05. The first 2,000 fans through the door will take home a Parker Milner Bobblehead and parking is free at the North Charleston Coliseum. Tickets are on sale now!
To bring your group to the game, call the Stingrays Front Office at 843-744-2248! For single game tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.