Devin's OT Heroics Earns Stingrays Game 7 WinMay 12, 2016
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC-Joe Devin's Game 7 playoff magic continued Wednesday night. The South Carolina forward scored his ninth goal of the playoffs, and his fourth Game 7 goal in the last two seasons, to lead the Stingrays (8-3-1) to a 3-2 victory in double-overtime. The Stingrays won the best-of-seven series with the Adirondack Thunder (7-5-0), 4-3, and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Wheeling Nailers. The series starts this Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Devin's goal ended the marathon session at 15:34 of double-overtime and sent the crowd of 3,096 into a frenzy. Bobby Shea, who scored the tying goal in the third period, flipped a backhand shot wide of the Adirondack net. With goaltender Ken Appleby guarding the left post, the puck hopped off the end boards and out front to the left side of the goal crease. Devin raced after the puck, and shoveled a backhand shot over a sprawled Appleby for the game-winning goal.
The Stingrays had to overcome adversity in overtime before getting to double-overtime. At 9:19 of overtime, South Carolina goaltender Mark Dekanich was injured stopping a shot with his right pad. He was unable to stay in the game, and was replaced by netminder Vitek Vanecek. Making his first appearance since Game 1 of the series, Vanecek stopped all eight shots he faced in relief.
Scoring started in Wednesday's game nearly four hours before the winning goal was scored. The two teams traded tallies in a span of 36 seconds in the first period. Adirondack's Ben Johnson beat Dekanich with a wrist shot from the left wing to make it 1-0 Thunder at 4:43. At 5:19, David Pacan responded for the Stingrays, scoring his first goal of the playoffs off a rebound of a Austin Fyten shot.
The Thunder would take the lead with only 46 seconds left in the second period as Mitchell Heard scored on a power play on a back-door pass from Peter MacArthur to make it 2-1 Adirondack. However, midway through the third period, Shea would even the score for the Stingrays, snapping a shot towards Appleby off a face-off. It somehow rolled between the goaltender's pads to make it 2-2.
After 120 penalty minutes were called last night, only 14 penalty minutes were called in Game 7. One minor penalty was assessed in overtime on Wade Epp for delay of game, but South Carolina's top-ranked penalty-kill came up large.
The Stingrays outshot the Thunder 46-28 in the game. Appleby stopped 43 shots in the losing effort.
The Eastern Conference Finals starts this weekend at the North Charleston Coliseum versus the Wheeling Nailers. Wheeling defeated the Reading Royals in overtime in Game 7 on Wednesday. Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals is Friday, May 13 and Game 2 is Saturday, May 14. Both games start at 7:05 p.m. A complete series schedule will be released shortly. For further series information and ticket information, visit StingraysHockey.com.