Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stingrays Update

I figured we could use some uplifting news today. So let's check in on our ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays. From the Charleston Post and Courier:

Stingrays survive, force decisive playoff game

By Andrew Miller
The Post and Courier
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

There's no such thing as a bad shot, just ask South Carolina Stingrays winger Trent Campbell.

Campbell got the game-winning goal less than four minutes into the second overtime period and Marty Guerin added two goals in regulation as South Carolina rallied to beat Augusta, 3-2, Tuesday night before a crowd of 1,849 at the North Charleston Coliseum.

With the victory, the Stingrays forced a fifth and deciding game in the best-of-five Kelly Cup Playoff series with the Lynx. Game 5 is tonight beginning at 7 at the North Charleston Coliseum.

The South Carolina Stingrays' Marty Guerin (9) maneuvers with the puck during the first period against the August Lynx in Game 4 of their ECHL playoff series Tuesday at the North Charleston Coliseum.

Melissa Haneline
The Post and Courier

The South Carolina Stingrays' Marty Guerin (9) maneuvers with the puck during the first period against the August Lynx in Game 4 of their ECHL playoff series Tuesday at the North Charleston Coliseum.

South Carolina has thrown everything but the Zamboni driver at Augusta goalie Bobby Goepfert during the series, but the former Providence College star has been equal to the task.

So when Campbell's relatively weak shot from the left wing hit Goepfert's shoulder, bounced up and trickled down his back and past the goal line for the game-winning goal, no one was more surprised than Campbell.

"Between the periods, everyone kept talking about getting shots on net," said Campbell, who recorded his first goal of the series. "You're not going to score unless you shoot, and I was just trying to get something on net. Usually good things will happen for you if you get it on net, and finally we got a bounce to go our way."

The Stingrays' game-winner came on what at first appeared to be a harmless play. Stephen Werner got the puck to Campbell just outside the Stingrays' offensive zone. Campbell skated in and had to fight off Augusta defenseman Jamie McKinven just to get the shot off.

"I was trying to hold (McKinven) off and get something on net," Campbell said. "It certainly wasn't the hardest shot I've ever taken, but I guess it was hard enough to go in, and I'm not complaining. I saw the puck hit his arm, then his side, but I didn't see it go in."

The Stingrays came pouring off the bench to mob Campbell and celebrate the team's second overtime win in as many nights.

"There's no such thing as a bad shot, especially in overtime," said Stingrays captain Cail MacLean. "Anything on net in my opinion was going to be a good shot. We've really struggled to score on (Goepfert), so to finally get one past him was a great feeling."

After dropping the first two games of the series in Augusta, few gave the Stingrays a chance to rally back and send it into a decisive Game 5.

"Two days ago things were looking pretty bleak," said Stingrays coach Jared Bednar. "The guys in the locker room believed that we could get it done. An outsider looking in probably thought we had no chance to come back and force a Game 5. But we believed it and that's why we're still playing."

Rookie goalie Josh Johnson was solid again, stopping 27 of 29 shots, including a game-saving stop on Matt Christie in the final two minutes of regulation.

"Josh faced the pressure again and showed his mental toughness," MacLean said. "The save he made on Christie in the third period was the difference in the game. (Christie) makes that and the season is over for us."

The Stingrays got off to another fast start, scoring less than two minutes into the game on Guerin's third goal of the series.

"Marty has really shown what he can do offensively in this series," Bednar said. "He seems to have really come to life with Werner and Campbell."

The Lynx tied the game at 1 just before the end of the opening period on Travis Fuller's goal with just 1 second left.

The Lynx grabbed a 2-1 lead on Matt Auffrey's goal less than two minutes into the second period.

Guerin tied the game up at 2 on a great individual effort midway through the third period.

First Period: 1. SC, Guerin 3 (Campbell), 1:57. 2. A, Fuller 2 (Christie), 19:59. Penalties: Brooks, A (holding), 5:53; Campbell, SC (roughing), 5:53; Slattengren, A (holding) 7:28; Rawlyk, SC (tripping), 9:31.

Second Period: 3. A, Auffrey 2 (Christie), 2:42. Penalties: Battaglia, A (hooking), 4:27; Bench minor, A (too many men on the ice), 15:18.

Third Period: 4. SC, Guerin 4 (unassisted), 9:21. Penalties: MacLean, SC (holding), :48; Rawlyk, SC (goal-tender interference), 12:12; Collins, SC (hooking), 17:53; Slattengren, A (hooking), 18:25.

Overtime: No goals. Penalties: Veideman, A (holding), 15:06.

2nd Overtime: 5. SC, Campbell 1 (Werner, Pokulok), 3:36. Penalties: No penalties.

Shots on goal: Stingrays 7-12-13-10-1-43; Augusta 7-10-9-2-1-29. Penalties: Stingrays 5-10; Augusta 6-12. Power play: Stingrays 0 of 5; Augusta 0 of 4. Goalies: Stingrays -Josh Johnson (2-0-0) 29 shots, 27 saves. Augusta - Bobby Goepfert (2-2-0) 43 shots, 40 saves. Att: 1,849.

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