Watson hat trick paces Monarchs past Swamp Rabbits, 7-2By PARKER WHEELER
Public Relations Coordinator
February 15. 2018 11:04PM
GREENVILLE S.C. – The Manchester Monarchs defeated the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 7-2, Thursday night at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
The Monarchs (30-16-3-1) won the final game of the season against the Swamp Rabbits (20-26-3-1) and claimed the season series, three games to two.
The Monarchs opened the scoring at 5:05 of the first period on the 14th goal of the season for Spencer Watson. Matt Marcinew skated into the offensive zone along the left wing, where he centered a pass for Watson in the slot. Watson shot the puck, top shelf, over the glove of Swamp Rabbits goaltender Ty Rimmer, to make the score, 1-0.
Manchester added to their lead with a shorthanded tally at 19:13 of the first period on the 2nd goal of the season for Eric Schurhamer. Francois Beauchemin corralled the puck in the left corner and centered a pass to Schurhamer as he skated into the offensive zone. Schurhamer one-timed a shot through the legs of Rimmer to extend the Monarchs lead to 2-0.
The Monarchs tacked on another goal at 2:19 of the second period, on the 27th goal of the season for Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman. Alexx Privitera pushed the puck in deep along the right-wing boards, where Marcinew collected the puck at the bottom of the right circle. Marcinew sent a pass to the top of the right circle, where LaVallee-Smotherman ripped a shot over the glove of Rimmer, pushing the Monarchs lead to 3-0.
Manchester extended their lead at 6:36 of the second period on the 1st goal of the season for Michael Downing, in his first game with the Monarchs. Zac Lynch won a faceoff in the right circle, where Joel Lowry picked up the puck along the top of the slot. Lowry sent a pass to Downing at the bottom of the left circle, where he roofed a shot over the blocker side of Rimmer to make the score, 4-0, Monarchs.
The Swamp Rabbits got on the board at 15:09 of the second period on the 14th goal of the season for Joe Basaraba. Shane Walsh gathered the puck along the right boards and sent a backhanded pass to Basaraba at the top of the right circle. Basaraba skated towards the slot and sent a shot over the glove of Monarchs goaltender Matt O’Connor to make the score, 4-1, Monarchs.
The Monarchs got their four-goal lead back at 2:48 of the third period when Lowry scored his 15th goal of the season. Lynch skated into the offensive zone along the right wing, on a 2-on-1 with Lowry and sent a saucer pass to Lowry who pushed the puck past the pad of new Swamp Rabbits goaltender, Greg Dodds, to give the Monarchs a 5-1 lead.
The Monarchs lead grew to five at 3:46 of the third period when Watson scored his 2nd goal of the game and 15th of the season. Watson intercepted a breakout pass along the right wing, where he skated into the slot and slid a backhanded shot past the pad of Dodds to make the score, 6-1, Monarchs.
Greenville battled back at 5:41 of the third period when Austin McKay scored his 7th goal of the season. Daniel Echeverri took a shot from the point that was blocked by Craig Wyszomirski of the Monarchs, where the puck bounced free in the slot and was picked up by McKay where he shot the puck under the pads of O’Connor to make it, 6-2, Manchester.
Manchester added their final tally of the night when Watson recorded his third goal of the night, for a hat trick, at 18:07 of the third period. Watson gained control of the puck in the left corner and skated along the goal line before cutting in front of the net and shooting the puck past the glove of Dodds, to give Manchester a 7-2 lead.
The Monarchs are back in action at 7:35 p.m. on Friday at Infinite Energy Arena to take on the Atlanta Gladiators for the first time this season.
NOTES: Ty Rimmer was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals on 21 shots. ... Michael Downing scored his first goal of the season in his first game with the Monarchs. ... Matt O’Connor made 31 saves on 33 shots. ... Michael Downing led the team with a plus-5 rating in his Monarchs debut.