Stingrays Week 13 Recap: Recovery

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Posted January 15, 2017

(Steven McParland via Sarah_Hobday)

South Carolina entered the week against Florida with a seven-game win streak, looking to dent their lead in the South Division. The Stingrays skated away with one win in three tries, sitting in third place after the Orlando Solar Bears took two of three from the Alaska Aces.

Rob Flick missed game one of the series, and the Stingrays offense could not find its footing. The Everblades tallied twice in the first period with help from Clark Bishop and Evan Bloodoff to give them enough of a lead for the 3-1 win.

Stingrays’ All-Star Steven McParland dented Florida’s lead with his ninth goal of the season. Upon exiting the penalty box for his slashing minor, Patrick Gaul sent him away at Anthony Peters on his own. Gaul joined McParland, but the rookie did not miss on his shot through Peters’s legs.

Peters stopped the next 21 shots, ending the night with 34 saves. Parker Milner made 23 stops, allowing all three goals on turnovers from his defense. Both teams went zero-for-six on the power play.

The rematch went the way of the Division leaders, this time a 2-1 decision. Peters stopped 26 shots and Milner made 30 saves in his losing effort.

Flick welcomed himself back to the lineup the next day with a first period power play goal, giving South Carolina their first lead of the weekend. Max Nicastro’s point shot bounced off Peters’s leg pads right to Flick at the top of the crease.

Early in the second, Flick hammered an Everblade behind the cage of Peters. No penalty came on the play, but Curt Gogol sought retribution anyway. The two tussled with their sticks for a bit before dropping the gloves.

Gogol got the better of Flick in the early going, but Flick scored the knockdown on a hard right hook. The combatants got up and tried to continue for Round 2, but the linesmen jumped in to prevent that. Flick got a double-minor for Attemted Spearing, stemming from the stick jousting earlier.

Akim Aliu and Bishop scored 60 seconds apart, the former with a five-on-three advantage to work with and the latter thanks to a no-look pass from Matt Berry.

Aliu and Berry scored again in the middle frame of the series finale, but three third period goals from the Stingrays rescued one win out of the weekend series.

The rally began with Colton Saucerman’s first goal of the season. Kelly Zajac fed him from the half-wall for a one-timer from center point. It marked the first power play goal for South Carolina in eight tries since the Flick goal on Friday night.

Patrick Gaul tied the score with nine minutes to go, thanks to help from Steve Weinstein and Saucerman. A faceoff win from Scott Tanski started the play Weinstein played the puck for Saucerman, who blasted it on Peters. The rebound fell in front for Gaul to hoist over the outstretched right leg of Peters.

Tanski finished a passing play to complete the comeback. Domenic Monardo cycled out from behind the net and toward the slot. Hounded by two Everblades, he passed for Tim McGauley. Seeing Tanski crash the net front, McGauley found his stick blade for the quick wrister.

Milner held on, finishing with 26 saves for the win. Peters also got 26 saves as the Florida win streak ceased at five.

NEXT WEEK

After one final road contest in Atlanta, the Stingrays return home for the 11th of 14 matchups against the Greenville Swamp Rabitts.

In Atlanta, the Gladiators are running their Teddy Bear Toss. After the first Gladiators goal, fans are encouraged to throw a stuffed animal onto the ice in celebration.

Spider-Man will swing himself into North Charleston to pose for pictures with fans for the Sunday contest against Greenville.

CURRENT STANDING

3rd in South Division, 37 games played, 18-16-2-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL), .611 points percentage