Greenville Gains Early Advantage, Tops Stingrays 6-3

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Posted April 14, 2017

(via the Stingrays)

Derek Arnold snapped his stick in half trying to shoot on a late power play for the South Carolina Stingrays. It was that kind of night in Greenville.

South Carolina dropped game one of their opening round series to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 6-3.

Five Swamp Rabbits — Allan McPherson (2-2–4), Brandon Alderson (2-0–2), Angelo Miceli (0-2–2), Adam Chapie (0-2–2), and Spiro Goulakos (0-2–2) — had multiple-point nights in front of their home crowd at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

Alderson got the crowd on their feet early. Bretton Cameron beat out the Stingrays defense for the puck, and started up the scoring play. Alderson set up Miceli to shoot, but he lost the puck. With Parker Milner out of his crease to challenge, Alderson caught him out of position with a tap in from the side. Tyler Brown followed up three minutes later.

In his 36th Stingrays playoff game, Patrick Gaul scored his sixth Kelly Cup Playoffs goal. Kevin Dufour used his speed to get out of the defensive zone, but ran into Garrett Noonan’s backcheck. Dufour spun to his right to find Gaul, who released a one-timer to halve the deficit.

Continuing the narrative from the previous period, Ahti Oksanen opened the scoring in the first three minutes. Alderson jumped back on the board with a power play goal, followed by Allan McPherson to make the score 5-1.

With help from captain Joe Devin, Kelly Zajac brought South Carolina back into the game. Devin delivered a pass to Zajac by airmail, bypassing all five Swamp Rabbits. Zajac beat Jeff Malcolm after the Greenville goalie went for the pokecheck.

Rob Flick, South Carolina’s top-scorer through the regular season, scored just his second professional playoff goal.

South Carolina beat Greenville in shots 19-10 in the second period, and opened the third with the same pace. Malcolm stood tall, stopping all 10 he saw come his way.

Malcolm finished the night with 34 saves on 37 shots. Milner stopped 19 of 25 shots.

Both teams will play again tomorrow night in Greenville, then the series will shift to North Charleston Coliseum for games three and four.