GREENVILLE, SC — The Norfolk Admirals and Greenville Swamp Rabbits had seen each other ten total times coming into Saturday night’s matchup. It would be the 11th and final time in the season they would collide against one another.
Michael McNiven made the start for Norfolk, while Jeremy Helvig got his fifth straight start in net for Greenville. The first period ended at a 0-0 stalemate with the Swamp Rabbits outshooting the Admirals, 12-8. Greenville had three power plays in the period alone and peppered McNiven with shots from every angle. But the 22-year old goaltender stood tall and kept the game locked at zeros after 20 minutes of play.
Jake Horton would get the scoring started for Greenville at the 1:24 mark of the second period, on the power play. After numerous chances left and right for the Swamp Rabbits, Horton’s blast on a one-timer would get past McNiven on the high-glove side to give Greenville a 1-0 lead.
Seven minutes later, Jimmy Soper scored his second goal of the season on a redirection in-between the circles off the initial shot from Will Lochead. Soper was playing in his 11th game with Greenville after being called up from the SPHL during Christmas time. Matt Marcinew would pick up the extra helper on his goal.
When it seemed like the Admirals may be down and out of it, JC Campagna extended his goal streak to four games with a rebound goal on the power play to cut the Greenville lead to one. Johnny Coughlin and Josh Holmstrom would pick up the assists on the goal. Between Holmstrom and Campagna this season, they had a combined 12 points against the Swamp Rabbits.
Heading into the third, the Admirals were trailing in the shot department, but started the period on the man-advantage. They would fall short on their chance, as they were 1-for-6 on the power play on Saturday night.
But at the 10:08 mark of the period, Soper would receive a pass from Marcinew behind the net and stuff it past McNiven to extend the lead to two. Reminiscent of Friday night’s loss, the Admirals would not roll over and quit. Brayden Sherbinin would end up scoring his fourth goal of the season on a simple shot thrown on Helvig that got past him to cut the lead to one.
But after McNiven was pulled and the Admirals fired a couple of shots on Helvig, Adam Rockwood would get the loose change and put the finishing touches on a 4-2 victory for Greenville.
The Swamp Rabbits won 9 out of the 11 games against Norfolk this season. McNiven made 31 saves, while Helvig improved to 6-0 against the Admirals this season with 30 saves and the win.
The Admirals are back at home next weekend against the South Carolina Stingrays. Tickets are available for purchase at the Scope Box Office or visit norfolkadmirals.com/tickets for more information.