SAVANNAH, GA – In the form of poetic irony, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits were given a chance to equalize their series score against the Ghost Pirates as they met for the second time at Bon Secours Wellness Arena just five games into the Ghost Pirates’ season. Earlier in the season, Savannah had played spoiler to Greenville’s home opener, and fans of the Ghost Pirates were hoping they had it in them to win on the road one last time before their home opener tonight at Enmarket Arena.
The Ghost Pirates came off to a slower start than fans had grown accustomed to. At times in the first period, it looked as if the long road trip they had been playing to start the season had finally begun to creep up on them, as their energy in those first five minutes did not seem to match that of previous contests.
Savannah would not stay down long, however, as Max Kaufman and company (Spencer Naas & Brent Pedersen) scored an equalizer goal just 12 seconds later off of a beautiful set of ping-pong passes directly in front of the Greenville net.
Energy started to pick up later in the first as things got a bit chippy; Patrick Guay had a solid check right over Greenville’s blue line and Jordan Papirny played hero in the net to jumpstart Savannah.
— Thomas Ponné Thrift (@FPHGhostPirates) November 5, 2022
The moment that really had the crowd going was at 16:04 when Logan Drevitch (5’9″) and Ayden Macdonald (6’4″) decided to recreate David vs Goliath for the audience there at Bon Secours. That fight also caught the eye of Darian Skeoch, Savannah’s resident tough guy and alternate captain, who decided he would like to partake in the action as well. Skeoch was given a roughing penalty for his actions leading, to one of the five Greenville power plays of the night.
The second period followed a similar trend to the first. Savannah once again came out slow, and less energized than their counterpart across the ice. Greenville made it clear in this period that they wanted it more, and were able to put together continued chances on the net. Even with those more dangerous opportunities, it wasn’t until over 11 minutes into the second they found the backside of a net thanks to Papirny playing his best game for Savannah yet.
The score came in the form of Nikita Pavlychev skating the puck to the backside of the net while using every inch of his big frame to dip the puck right around the post and in.
A positive note from the night was that the special teams of Savannah did dominate as they tallied a power-play goal with 2:01 left in the second period to equalize the period, and killed off all five man-down opportunities of the game.
The third period had the sense that the team to score the next goal would win the contest. Savannah had two extremely good looks to put the game away with Peter DiLiberatore’s shot ringing the post around four minutes in and an Alex Swetlikoff breakaway at 6:43.
Marshall Moise, who was playing his first game with Savannah after starting the season on IR, also kept the offensive pressure up towards the later part of the third which led to an extended shift in the Greenville zone. Moise looked good throughout the entire game, and was one of the more noticeable players for Savannah who delivered good hits, pressured well, and kept the energy up whenever they were on the ice.
Savannah ends their season-opening road trip with a record of 4-1-0 and looks forward to tonight where they have a rematch with Greenville at Enmarket Arena for their home opener.
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