South Carolina Stingrays Advance to Kelly Cup Finals

Posted May 24, 2017

via the Stingrays

South Carolina goaltender Parker Milner came out to the top of his crease. With five seconds left in the game, the puck rested with Manchester defenseman Colton Saucerman, Milner’s former teammate.

Milner made the save with players downed around him, Rob Flick won the ensuing faceoff to open space, Steven McParland cleared the puck away, and time expired on the 4-3 win for South Carolina.

For the second time in three years, the South Carolina Stingrays won a game seven on the road to advance to the Kelly Cup Finals. They will face the Colorado Eagles, a team they played six times in the regular season with two wins.

It took no overtime heroics, but the Stingrays celebrated the Bud Gingher Memorial Trophy at center ice in full uniform. Nobody touched the trophy.

Parker Milner returned to form with a 24 save outing in net for the win. In the last 40 minutes, only Ashton Rome beat him.

Sam Brittain, Manchester’s top performer for the entire series, made 25 saves on the last game of his season.

Olivier Archambault scored twice for South Carolina, including the game-winner late in the third period.

Manchester’s Zac Lynch and South Carolina’s Rob Flick, two of their team’s top scorers, opened up the night with first period goals.

Lynch moved ahead of the defense to slip a backhand behind Milner, and Flick flicked a rebound into the net after Marcus Perrier had his shot saved.

Manchester defenseman Saucerman, who South Carolina traded to Manchester, scored on a heavy slapshot to give the Monarchs a lead after 20 minutes.

South Carolina again returned fire, with late goals from Domenic Monardo and Archambault. It was the first lead for South Carolina since the third period of game five.

Monardo swooped in to pick up the blocked Andrew Cherniwchan shot, and Archambault pulled a backhand around Brittain for the lead.

Tyler Sikura sprang Rome behind the defense to power a shot past Milner. Rome’s celebration did not sit well with Perrier, who was a few feet from him. Perrier gave him a small shove, then made his way to the bench.

The tight game seemed bound for overtime, but Joey Leach’s cannon from the blue line put an end to the deadlock. Archambault tipped Leach’s shot by Brittain, and jumped into the glass in celebration.

Daniel Ciampini hit the post with 91 seconds left, just as Brittain came to the bench for the sixth attacker. South Carolina iced the puck four times aiming for the empty net.

McParland’s shot did hit the empty net, but time was out by that point.

South Carolina is tied with the Alaska Aces — who folded after the regular season — and the Hampton Roads Admirals — who became the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL before moving to Bakersfield, California — with three Reilly/Kelly Cups in franchise history.

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