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Stingrays Week 15 Recap: Just Short
In four one-goal contests, the South Carolina Stingrays lost three times this week. The Greenville Swamp Rabbits used their three-win week to leapfrog the Stingrays in the South Division.
Joey Leach returned to the Stingrays’ lineup for the week’s games, but the Hershey Bears took goaltender Parker Milner. In one game with AHL Hershey, Milner allowed two goals and made 30 saves for the win over the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Greenville defeated their intra-state rivals 3-2, with the overtime winner from Tommy Thompson. Sprio Goulakos and Bretton Cameorn scored on power play snap shots for the home-standing Swamp Rabbits.
The Rays traded goals with the Swamp Rabbits throughout regulation. Dylan Margonari beat Jeff Malcolm with a breakaway backhand in the first period and Domenic Monardo snuck a wrist shot through his pads on a rush.
Due to a carry-over penalty, four-on-four play ruled the ice. After Adam Carlson stopped Joe Houk’s shot, Thompson crashed the crease to give Greenville the win. Carlson ended the game with 24 saves.
In their red, Capitals-inspired sweaters, the Stingrays welcomed division-leading Florida to North Charleston Coliseum. With four seconds left, Matt Berry sank South Carolina hopes with a late goal on Carlson, sending the Everblades to a 5-4 win.
Joe Devin tipped a Marcus Perrier shot for the early lead, then Michael Kirkpatrick snuck a shot over Carlson on a rush play. Rob Flick put home his second slap shot attempt on a five-on-three for a Stingrays’ 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Kirkpatrick wrapped up a hat trick with two goals in the second period, giving Florida their first lead of the game.
The third period saw the teams trade goals again. Margonari and Andrew Cherniwchan cancelled out Danny New’s goal, getting a 4-4 tie on the board. Berry and Stephen MacAulay teamed up to force Leach into a turnover behind Carlson, leading to Berry’s game-winner.
Carlson stopped 19 of 24 pucks that came his way in the loss. The Stingrays also lost Trevor Gillies after a scuffle in the second period. With his shift starting at 14:32 of the second, Gillies went after Mike Aviani for his earlier fight against Olivier Archambault. Despite constant whacks from Gillies, Aviani would not budge.
Frustrated, Gillies decked Aviani after the whistle with a gloved left hand. Josh Wesley jumped to defend his alternate captain, but Gillies got the best of Wesley, including an extra punch after the linsemen jumped in. The referees ejected Gillies from the game.
The next day, the ECHL suspended Gillies indefinetly for his actions.
Tim McGauley gave the Rays their lone win of the week, 5-4, in overtime the next night against the same Everblades.
Berry picked up where he left off, finishing a three-on-two with Mike Ferrantino to take an early lead. Devin would respond with a slap shot of a Patrick Gaul faceoff win. In the second, Devin missed on a clearance attempt, falling right for Brendan O’Donnell to unleash a slap shot for the lead.
Opening the third, Margonari went crashing into the boards behind Anthony Peters. Zack Kamrass, already being called for a slashing penalty, did give Margonari a small shove before the crash. Following a 10-minute delay, a stretcher carried Margonari off, and to a local hospital. The team said in a statement the next day that he underwent successful surgery, and is asking for everyone’s thoughts and prayers at this time.
Max Nicastro scored on the resulting power play, and the comeback was on. Nicastro rocketed home his second under a minute later to give South Carolina a breif lead, taken away while shorthanded by Brent Harris.
To retaliate, Joey Leach boomed home a long slap shot on the penalty kill. O’Donnell’s second of the game sent the contest to an extra frame tied at four.
On the first and only shot of overtime, McGauley went inside-outside on Peters before backhanding the winning goal. Carlson made 29 saves on 33 shots.
On the weekend finale, a late rally was not enough to topple the Atlanta Gladiators, who escaped with a 5-4 win.
Rob Flick got his 19th goal of the season, but five consecutive goals for Atlanta — Tyler Murovich, Drew Baker, Connor Gaarder, Brock Higgs, and Gaarder again — gave the Gladiators a comfortable lead.
Gaul swung at a rebound up in the air to get the rally started. His seventh goal was followed by Olivier Archambault’s eighth, coming in similar fashion on a five-on-three. Steven McParland, while screening Dan Vladar, tipped Marcus Perrier’s shot to bring the Stingrays within one.
Vladar shut the door from there, facing only one more shot in the 18-shot period. Vladar ended the game with 32 saves. Milner, returning from his stint with the Bears, stopped 22 in his first game back.
It will be a three-game series in Manchester, New Hampshire against the Monarchs. After a Wednesday night contest, the Rays and Monarchs will square off again Friday night during “Movie Night” at SNHU Arena. Then comes “Youth Hockey Night” Saturday night for the conclusion of the series.
3rd South Division, 23-16-2-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL), 49 points, .583 points percentage