Thunder Tops Stingrays, 3-1, Takes Series Lead

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Posted May 3, 2016

What began as a promising night for the South Carolina Stingrays turned south quickly after they gave up a power play goal to the Adirondack Thunder. A Gunnar Hughes empty-netter sealed the 3-1 loss, and resulted in frustration penalties before the final horn sounded.

For the final 6:53 of the first, the Stingrays went without a shot on goal; they would not get another until 2:32 into the second on a long range shot from Colton Saucerman, back in the lineup replacing Spencer Humphries.

David Pacan won a faceoff outside the Stingrays’ zone back to Jones, who hit Herbert with his pass. Feeling the pressure of Greg Wolfe, Caleb Herbert one-handed it back in the direction of Jones, but Ryan Lomberg intercepted the pass halfway. He took two strides before putting away the eventual game winning goal.

From the game’s opening faceoff, the Rays held the pace of the game for a full twelve minutes. In that time, Herbert blasted the sixth of ten first period shots past Ken Appleby while the defense contained the Thunder to four shots. Once Nick Jones tripped Lomberg after the whistle, the wheels fell off the race car.

Though the Stingrays began the penalty kill with two shot attempts from Austin Fyten, Mitchell Heard blew his snap shot by Mark Dekainch after Joey Leach stepped up to hit Lomberg, leaving a backchecking Stephan Vigier to defend Heard. The game became Adirondack’s to lose or win for the next two periods.

A late surge with the extra-attacker yielded only frustration for South Carolina. The best chance came when Joe Devin worked a behind-the-net feed to Marcus Perrier, but the shot went to the side. Seconds later, Michael Kirkpatrick sent away Ben Johnson to find the empty net. Hughes finished the play, but the Rays were not done with Game 3.

In the final 15 seconds of play, Marcus Perrier threw down his gloves and attempted to dance with Mathieu Broduer. Both were sent to the showers early for continuing the altercation (Perrier) and instigating in the final five minutes (Broduer). Pacan got sent off for Abuse of Officials as well.

Head coach Spencer Carbery tossed out Trevor Gillies, Bobby Shea, Joey Leach, and Wade Epp for the next faceoff. Shea then scrapped with Ryan Constant after Leach, a defenseman, won the faceoff. Shea, Epp, and Constant all received roughing minors to end the game.

When Game 4 comes on Thursday night, the Rays will need more of the first twelve minutes and less of the last 30 seconds to win and send the series back to North Charleston for a Game 6.