Devin's Heroics Gives Rays Game 4 WinApr 21, 2016
It's a new year, but Joe Devin continues to provide playoff heroics for the South Carolina Stingrays. Devin scored his second goal of the game with 39.6 seconds to play to lead the Stingrays (3-1) to a 3-2 victory over the Kalamazoo Wings (1-3) Thursday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. The Stingrays peppered Kalamazoo goaltender Joel Martin with 46 shots, and finally broke a 2-2 tie on a man-advantage after Kalamazoo took a too-many men on the ice penalty with under a minute to play. The Stingrays hold a 3-1 series lead and look to advance to the Conference Semifinals with a victory in Game 5 on Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
The Stingrays took a 2-1 lead into the third period after outshooting Kalamazoo 23-3 in the game's middle frame. Devin notched the lone goal, connecting 3:48 into the period off a rebound from a Bobby Shea shot. Martin kicked out the initial drive from the point, but Devin beat Martin under the arm for his third goal of the postseason to put South Carolina in front.
With South Carolina on a power play to start the third period, the tides turned quickly when Justin Taylor scored a shorthanded goal for Kalamazoo to tie the game, 2-2. The forward poked the puck to neutral ice and raced up on a 2-on-1. He unloaded a slap shot that beat netminder Vitek Vanecek over the catching glove and silenced the crowd of 3,248.
The two teams traded chances in the third period with each goaltender coming up with key saves. Vanecek stopped nine shots in the third, and 27 on the night, to earn his first professional playoff win. Martin was sensational, finishing with 43 saves and being named the game's #2 Star.
Martin denied 13 South Carolina shots in the third period, but Devin and the Stingrays took advantage of a mistake by the Wings. Kalamazoo was caught with six skaters on the ice with under a minute to play and headed to the penalty box. South Carolina, who had just one power play goal all series, took advantage. Stephan Vigier's pass from behind the net was on the tape of Devin in the slot. He snapped a wrist shot that beat Martin and sent the crowd into a frenzy.
In the victory, Caleb Herbert also scored his third goal of the playoffs for the Stingrays, opening the scoring at 10:35 of the first period.
The Stingrays will look to claim a series victory on Saturday night. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. Fans with playoff ticket packages are to use ROUND ONE, HOME GAME B tickets for Saturday's game. The winner of the series between the Stingrays and Kalamazoo will battle #6 Adirondack in the Conference Semifinals after the Thunder beat the Manchester Monarchs in five games.