Stingrays Week 24 Recap: A Wild Finish

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Posted April 2, 2017

Joey Leach (Sarah Hobday)

Joe Devin scored to help South Carolina win an overtime game. In other news, spring is here and playoff hockey could be around the corner for the Lowcountry.

The Stingrays took three of a possible six points from the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and the Orlando Solar Bears. With help from Brampton (loss), Fort Wayne (loss), Toledo (win), and Indy (shootout loss), the Cincinnati Cyclones still sit one point behind South Carolina.

In the fourteenth and final matchup, Greenville and South Carolina settled things in overtime. Tommy Thompson scored his 16th of the season to give Greenville their fourth win of the season series, three of which required extra time, by a 4-3 final.

Parker Milner stopped 23 of 27 shots, while Jeff Malcolm stopped 34 of 37 shots from South Carolina.

Greenville left the first 20 minutes with a 2-0 lead. Allan McPherson and Brandon Alderson found help from rookie Ahti Oksanen to score for the visitors.

Olivier Archambault continued his tear through March with his 15th of the year halfway through the second period. Alderson tallied his second of the game to restore the two-goal margin.

In the final five minutes, South Carolina salvaged a standings point. Cody Corbett fired home on the power play, and Archambault scored with the extra attacker to force overtime.

Following Thompson’s overtime winner, three dust-ups resulted in unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for three players from each team. For South Carolina, Archambault, Marcus Perrier, and Joey Leach made their way onto the referee’s naughty list. For Greenville, Nick Betz, Bretton Cameron, and Spiro Goulakos were judged guilty.

Mason Marchment scored four times over the weekend, with two goals helping the Solar Bears to a win on Friday. His goals bookended a 4-3 win for the visitors from Orlando.

South Carolina honored the 1997 Kelly Cup championship team, including Jason Fitzsimmons and Stingrays president Rob Concannon. Jared Bednar, part of that championship team, was busy coaching the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues. Concannon left with Orlando defenseman Daniel Maggio to an area hospital after a hit along the boards. The 2017 team wore special jerseys modeled after the 1997 sweaters.

Parker Milner stopped 28 of 32, Ryan Massa stopped 29 of 32 shots from the Stingrays.

Marchment and Eric Faille gave Orlando an early 2-0 lead. The Solar Bears were close to bringing that score into the dressing room, but Kevin Dufour scored his first professional goal to bring South Carolina within one.

Joe Perry restored the two-goal advantage, but Joe Devin tallied up on the power play to keep the Stingrays in the game.

With Devin in the box for hooking in the third period, John Parker sprung Andrew Cherniwchan on a shorthanded break. Cherniwchan fooled Massa to tie the game back at three. Marchment scored the game-winner with eight minutes to go, and the Stingrays could not get anything by Massa with the extra attacker.

Three points behind Orlando, the Stingrays knew what they were walking into: lose, and their playoff destiny is out of their hands. Devin hammered home a rebound at the goal line to guarantee two standings points and a 3-2 win for the hosts.

Marchment carried over his torture of Parker Milner, scoring both Orlando goals — one two minutes in, and one with three minutes left. Milner stopped 37 shots on the day.

At the other end of the ice, Mitch Gillam made his professional debut after signing an Amateur Tryout Agreement last week with Orlando. The All-Ivy League product out of Cornell stopped 36 shots to secure one point for Orlando. He still had his pads and mask from his four-year career for the Big Red.

Kevin Dufour tipped a Max Nicastro shot to tie the game at one in the first period, then Marcus Perrier scored five-hole on Gillam in the third to take a temporary 2-1 lead.

Steven McParland, the All-Star forward, fought Justin Buzzeo midway through the third period. Taking lessons from injured Trevor Gillies, McParland removed Buzzeo’s helmet before wailing away with his right hand.

McParland’s shot hit Gillam and fluttered behind the goaltender to the goal line. With nobody there to stop him, Devin whacked the lying puck to the netting before sliding to center ice on one knee, shooting an arrow into the stands.

NEXT WEEK

In the final road game of the season, South Carolina visits the eliminated Atlanta Gladiators on Wednesday night. Also in action that night are Cincinnati and Greenville, along with Florida and Orlando.

Friday night, the North Charleston Coliseum hosts the Gladiators and Stingrays for the eleventh and final matchup of the season. Cincinnati and Greenville, as well as Florida and Orlando, are in rematches that same night.

The first 2,000 fans will receive a Stingrays Rally Towel.

The final game of the regular season comes down to South Carolina and Cincinnati, who have not met so far this season. Orlando will meet Florida again, and Greenville ends their year with a battle against Atlanta.

As provided by ABC News 4 and 103.5 WEZL, the first 2,000 fans will get a free Stingrays beach ball. Also, parking at the Coliseum will be free.

CURRENT STANDING

69 games played, 37-28-3-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL), 78 points, 4th in South Division

PLAYOFF POSITION

Two points behind Orlando (80 points), one point ahead of Cincinnati (77 points)