Ghost Pirates hit the ice for first game

Published: Oct. 22, 2022 at 5:53 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2022 at 11:21 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah Skates hit the ice for the first time just after 7:00 p.m. as the city’s new professional hockey team the Ghost Pirates arrived at their latest and biggest milestone - the first game of their inaugural ECHL season.

“Couldn’t wait for the season to start. Had to come up and catch the very first game. Oh yeah, we’ve been excited about this for a long time,” Fan Dan Carter Sr. said.

Twenty one months after the league introduced the team and 360 days since its name was announced, the Ghost Pirates began play on the road, a popular visiting team against the Swamp Rabbits with a small but spirited group of hometown fans following them to Greenville, S.C.

“It’s the Ghost Pirates’ opening game, you’ve got to be here from the get go,” Fan Russ Foulke said.

“Just to see the guys take the ice for the first time was awesome. That first goal was energizing. And, yeah, hockey is in Savannah,” Fan Matt Baum said.

“First season, inaugural first game, you’ve got to be here. If you’re in Savannah, you should be here,” Fan Larry Anderson said.

On the ice, the Ghost Pirates started slowly, but rallied to take the lead … (and held on for the win … but came up short at the end.

“It’s definitely nice to get the win. It’s great to see the players get the first win in team history. Really proud of them for sticking with it, especially after that third period. The guys stuck to the system and it worked out for them, Ghost Pirates Coach Rick Bennett said.

But for the fans that traveled 250 miles to be here for the first game the final result of the first game mattered less than the history being made in it.

“We made it, we were here. No. 1 game for the No. 1 team. It’s going to be awesome,” Fan Bill Haddock said.

“Oh, this is just amazing. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I moved down here from the North and hockey is my thing. So, from the moment the announced it, I was over the moon, Fan Kimberly Colucci said.

“This is great. This is what Savannah needs. We had a great time here and you can never miss the first game,” Fan Walter Groat said.