Stingrays Pull a Cardiac Caps in OT Win

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Posted May 20, 2015

When Rob Ricci came down the flank in the third minute of OT, he fired what looked to be an innocent shot on net. That shot went in and the South Carolina Stingrays won, 6-5, and took a commanding series lead on the Toledo Walleye, 3-0. The fourth game will be Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.

For a while, the Stingrays looked to be on cruise control to victory. Toledo’s Martin Frk, however, had other ideas. After jumping out to a suffocating 4-1 lead to start the second, Drew MacKenzie took a delay of game penalty for throwing the puck over the glass. 18 seconds later, Frk gets his first goal of the night, forcing MacKenzie to make the skate of shame back to the bench. It looked like no big deal for the Stingrays after Derek Deblois regained the 3 goal lead; not even Kyle Bonis’s goal in the last minute of the second seemed like a problem.

Then the Stingrays got burned for two early third period goals by Frk, one at 53 seconds, the second off a South Carolina too many men penalty at 5:41. With Frk’s hat trick in tow, the Walleye looked to grab all the momentum, outshooting the Stingrays 10-5 in the third frame. This barnburner required overtime.

Toledo jumped the drop of OT for two shots on Jeff Jakaitis, but both were part of his 18 save night. Instead of Frk’s hat trick sparking the comeback for the Walleye on enemy ice, the story instead goes to Ricci, who only had one assist the whole series until tonight’s goal. Ricci’s goal ended up being the only Stingrays shot on goal the entire OT, but it was the only one they needed. In front of 3,902 faithful, the Stingrays marched one step closer to the Kelly Cup.