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Stingrays Beat Down Swamp Rabbits, Evens Series

Posted April 18, 2017

via the Stingrays

For the second consecutive game, the South Carolina Stingrays put up six goals against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The 6-1 win makes the first round series a best-of-three the rest of the way, with game five coming in Greenville on Friday.

Parker Milner’s shutout streak stopped at 119 minutes and five seconds when Joe Houk scored the only goal for Greenville midway through the third period. Milner finished the night with 36 saves.

Kelly Zajac led the way on offense with two tip-in goals and five total shots. Rob Flick finished off the night with his fourth goal of the playoffs — his second goal from game three was changed to Andrew Cherniwchan’s goal after the game.

Patrick Gaul tallied on the power play in the early goings of period one. Rob Flick had enough time and space to order a sandwich, but he opted to shoot at Mackenzie Skapski with two of his teammates hunting for rebounds. Gaul worked the puck to the side of the crease, and backhanded it into the net while falling to the ice.

Desmond Bergin gave the puck away to Wade Epp minutes later, and Skapski’s glove was no match for Epp’s slapshot. Epp last scored a playoff goal in 2016, a 5-2 South Carolina win over Kalamazoo in game two.

The Stingrays penalty kill stepped up again, holding the Swamp Rabbits to zero-for-five on their chances. Greenville has no conversions in their last 16 chances with the extra man.

South Carolina, conversely, has at least one power play goal in each of the last three games. Zajac’s first goal of the night came with the extra attacker.

Greenville head coach Brian Gratz tabbed Skapski to start after South Carolina lit up Jeff Malcolm for six goals the previous night. Now that both goaltenders have allowed six goals in back-to-back games, he has an unenviable choice to make for game five. Skapski finished with 29 saves on 35 shots.

Greenville defenseman Spiro Goulakos, a marked man the whole series, stirred up more trouble with the Stingrays tonight. Cherniwchan bowled him over in the first period, then gave him a second cross-check while Goulakos lay on the ground. The Stingrays killed off the resulting minor penalty.

After Joe Devin finished a check on Goulakos in the third period, he took the South Carolina captain down to the ice. With Devin on all fours, Goulakos issued a cross-check to the head. Both went off for roughing, with Goulakos getting an additional minor for the cross-check.

Led by Allan McPherson’s seven shots, tonight’s game marked the first time in the series when Greenville outshot South Carolina.

Game five is not until Friday, and the return game to the North Charleston Coliseum comes Monday.

Prior to the game, the ECHL suspended Marcus Perrier indefinitely for his his rough stuff with Spiro Goulakos in game three, not his fight with Andrew Dommett that happened later in the period. Further suspension will be announced later in the week.

Washington Capitals 2018 Stanley Cup Champs Gear