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Stingrays Week 3 Recap: Hopped Over
Trevor Gillies, via Sarah Hobday
The South Carolina Stingrays entered the weekend undefeated and set to face their cross-state rival, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The Stingrays gave goalie Jeff Jakaitis a breather as the Washington Capitals assigned goalie Vitek Vanecek to the Stingrays to continue rehabbing an injury.
Vancecek would see his first action right away as the Stingrays faced the Swamp Rabbits in Greenville Friday night. The Stingrays would storm out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Nick Johnson and Travis Walsh. Frankie Simonelli picked up an assist on the goal from Johnson. Greenville would go on to score three unanswered with the game winner coming with just 2:09 left on the clock. Vanecek had 36 saves in the loss.
South Carolina then turned their attention to the Jacksonville Icemen who came to Charleston to try to give the Rays their second straight loss. Vanecek was once again between the pipes. With Kris Bindulis being recalled to Hershey, the Stingrays only had five defenseman in the lineup. In addition, Danny Federico was injured in the first, so the Stingrays were down to four defenseman for some time before Federico returned later in the game.
After a first period that saw almost nothing outside of another Trevor Gillies fight win, the Stingrays opened the scoring on another goal from Johnson in the second with an assists going to Robbie Baillargeon and Walsh. The Icemen would respond less than two minutes later to tie the game. Johnson would go on to score his second of the game with 10:28 left to give the Rays what they lead. Joey Leech was credited with an assist on the goal. Vanecek shut the door the rest of the way on his way to a 22 save victory. Joe Devin would score an empty net goal to seal the game for the Rays with assists going to Johnson and Leech.
Week Ahead: The Stingrays will face a difficult week as they host Reading (5-2-0-0) on Tuesday and Wednesday before the Atlanta Gladiators (4-4-0-1) come to town. All games are at 7:05.
Standings: The Stingrays currently sit third with 10 points (5-1-0-0) in the South Division, one point behind the Florida Everblades (8-1-0-0) and Greenville (5-3-1-0) and one point ahead of Atlanta (4-4-0-1). The Stingrays do have three games in hand, but those are only useful if you get points out of them.
Goals: Andrew Cherniwchan and Johnson share the lead with 4
Assists: Baillargeon and Tim McGauley each have 5
Points: Steven Whitney and Johnson both have 6
— Chris l Live 5 News (@ChrisObarski) November 5, 2017