NORFOLK, VA. - The Greenville Swamp Rabbits (15-10-2-0) scored four in a row on Wednesday to pick up a divisional victory over the Norfolk Admirals (5-18-4-0), 5-4.
Just 3:33 into the night's action, Jaedon Descheneau found the back of the net for his fifth of the season and first of the night. After a Greenville shot was blocked down in the Norfolk zone, a puck was shuffled from the boards to a streaking Brodie Dupont. Dupont entered the zone and put a phenomenal feed from left-to-right on the tape of Descheneau, who had no problem giving his team the 1-0 lead there.
Descheneau would strike once again just over six minutes later for his second. Following a strong sequence of attack in the Greenville end, Josh Brittain popped from the wall to the circles and snapped a wrister that was waist-high and deflected down and in by #74. For the captain, it was his second assist and Saturday night's first star Mikael Tam added yet another helper to his impressive start with the organization.
The Swamp Rabbits would have an answer less than a minute later though, as defenseman Spiro Goulakos let off a bullet from the right point. Down 180 feet at the other end of the ice, Goulakos broke up an Admirals opportunity and teammate Michael Turner picked up the loose change in the corner. Turner pushed the puck to the 6'2" - 195 lbs. defenseman who carried it in transition and needed no help before unleashing the slap shot over the shoulder of Steven Summerhays to make it 2-1 game.
In the second period Dmitrii Sergeev earned his first goal as an Admiral. Gabriel Verpaelst scooped up a free puck at center ice and worked his way into the attacking zone and dished a feed to his defensive parter, Sergeev. The 20-year-old Russian would execute a give and go with Descheneau and Sergeev beat a sliding Jeff Malcolm to push the score to 3-1.
Unfortunately for the Admirals the Swamp Rabbits would bounce back with three in a row following to give the home team a 4-3 lead at the end of two. First up was Goulakos second of the night. Greenville forward Tyler Brown sent a pass out to the defenseman at the blue line, where a simple fake would move Admirals captain Josh Brittain out of position just enough for him to get the shot off. The puck was deflected off of an Admirals defender and past Summerhays to cut the Admirals lead to just one.
Tommy Thompson completely evaporated what was left of that lead 11:19 into the second. A failed drop pass by Brittain in his team's offensive zone was picked up by Angelo Micelli and twisted the other direction. Brandon Alderson took the next feed, entered the zone and fluttered a pass over to a driving Thompson, who blistered one into the netting.
The third goal in four minutes for Greenville came from the man who set up the third, Brandon Alderson. Swamp Rabbits defenseman Matt Prapavessis began his team's breakout from behind his own net and found Micelli in stride. Routinely into the Admirals zone three-on-two, Micelli looked to his right where he found the former Reading Royals scorer. Alderson unleashed a hammer from the circle, going across the body of Summerhays to make it 4-3.
Three unanswered became four unanswered in the third when Summerhays allowed one that he'd like back. Paul Zanette won a faceoff for Greenville to the right of the netminder and off the draw, Trevor Gerling put a routine shot on net. The Notre Dame product in goal for the Admirals tracked the rubber all the way to his glove but misjudged the remainder of the path, allowing it to squeak off of his catching mitt and behind him into the net. It was goal number four on the season for Gerling and the eventual game-winner.
Frankie Simonelli would put the Admirals back within one to earn his first of the season but it wasn't enough as the Admirals fell, 5-4.
The team now heads to North Charleston for their fourth game in nine days against the South Carolina Stingrays, ECHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals. Norfolk took last week's series by winning two of three, however the Stingrays took down the Swamp Rabbits on Tuesday of this week.
Following another road set next weekend the team returns back to Norfolk for their first games of the new year, starting on Wednesday, January 4th against the Adirondack Thunder. That weekend the Elmira Jackals are in town for the first time this year and tickets for all three contests are available now on Ticketmaster.com, as well as at the Norfolk Scope box office. For more information on the team, be sure to visit norfolkadmirals.com, as well as following the team on all major social media platforms.Box Score