Stingrays Advance to Third Straight Conference Final

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Posted May 4, 2017

via the Stingrays.

A late offensive push yielded no goals for South Carolina, but the aggressive shifts were enough to run down the clock as the sun set on Florida’s season.

Following a 2-1 win over the Florida Everblades, the South Carolina Stingrays move to the Eastern Conference Finals for the third straight year.

The Stingrays are still undefeated on home ice in these playoffs, bringing their record to 6-0.

For the first time since game two, the Stingrays scored in the first period. Within a minute, Andrew Cherniwchan and Olivier Archambault hammered home rebound goals for the early two-goal lead.

Parker Milner stood tall all night for his teammates, making 28 saves to cap off a brilliant series. Florida goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic saved 27 in his team’s final game.

Matt Berry tried to energize his teammates with a hard hit on Wade Epp midway through the second. When Epp went down in a heap, Danny Federico chucked his gloves and went after Berry. Berry got no punches in along the back wall behind Milner. Federico pounded away with left uppercuts until the linesmen stepped in. This marked Federico’s first career fight.

No penalty resulted on the Berry hit, but Federico got booked for instigating the fight. Epp was back on the ice for the penalty kill.

Josh Wesley took a run at Domenic Monardo, knocking him down with a hard hit behind Alex Nedeljkovic’s net. Monardo skated off under his own power, and Trevor Gillies took a warm-up skate by Florida’s bench. Monardo did not miss a shift.

As an early third period power play expired, John McCarron tipped Brendan O’Donnell’s pass behind Milner for his second goal in as many games. Florida now had a tie in their sights, but could not get anything else over the line.

With the third period winding down, the Stingrays continued to hem the Everblades on defense. Nedeljkovic did not vacate the crease until 110 seconds to go.

John Parker hit the right post when going for the empty net with 40 seconds left, but Florida could not capitalize when they turned back on offense.

After the handshake line, the Lowcountry’s own stood at center ice to salute the crowd and pump up more cheers.

The Stingrays now await the winner of the series between the Manchester Monarchs and the Brampton Beast. Game six is tomorrow night in Brampton, with Manchester holding a 3-2 series lead. Regardless of opponent, the Stingrays will not have home-ice advantage.

Max Wolpoff

Max Wolpoff

Churchill High School graduate (2015) and current Boston University journalism student. Follow me on Twitter (@Max_Wolpoff) for game-day tweets or my random musings about being a college student.