Game 2 Preview: Wheeling at South Carolina, 7:05 p.m.May 14, 2016
2016 KELLY CUP PLAYOFFS: EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS-GAME 2-SOUTH CAROLINA LEADS SERIES, 1-0
Wheeling Nailers (8-6-0 playoffs, 37-26-5-4 regular season)
South Carolina Stingrays (9-3-1 playoffs, 44-18-7-3 regular season)
North Charleston Coliseum, 7:05 p.m.
TICKET NOTE FOR FANS
Fans who have signed up for Playoff Ticket Packages are to use ROUND THREE, GAME B tickets for tonight's game
The South Carolina Stingrays host the Wheeling Nailers for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals this evening. The Stingrays jumped out to a 1-0 series lead with a 3-0 win last night on home ice. Both teams are coming off Game 7 overtime wins in their respective Eastern Conference Semifinals series. On Wednesday, the Stingrays defeated Adirondack in double-overtime in Game 7 on a Joe Devin goal, while the Nailers took down the Reading Royals in overtime on a Riley Brace goal. The two teams met twice during the regular season with both games taking place in Wheeling. South Carolina was 1-1-0-0 versus the Nailers in those games. The winner of the Eastern Conference Finals will play the winner of the Allen Americans/Fort Wayne Komets series in the Kelly Cup Finals.
NAILS CAN’T GO THROUGH BRICK WALLS
With an injury to Mark Dekanich, Vitek Vanecek made his first start since Game 1 of the series versus Adirondack in last night’s 3-0 win over the Nailers. After replacing Dekanich in overtime of Game 7 on Wednesday and earning the win, Vanecek continued his strong play with a 33-save shutout last night. This was his first professional shutout in the playoffs, and overall his fifth shutout with South Carolina. The Stingrays have combined for three shutouts in the postseason and are allowing a league low 1.92 goals per game in the playoffs. Vanecek, 20 is property of the Washington Capitals, and has posted a league-low 1.63 goals-against average.
FYTEN’S A GAMER
Forward Austin Fyten has elevated his game in the playoffs. After notching 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 41 games during the regular season, Fyten has become much more of an offensive threat during the postseason. He is among the team-leaders with 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in the playoffs. In 30 career ECHL playoff games with Idaho and South Carolina, Fyten has 24 points.
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
Home ice has played a key part in South Carolina’s postseason success. In the playoffs, South Carolina is 6-1 at the North Charleston Coliseum. The mark is already better than the club’s 27 game run to the Kelly Cup Finals last year where they were 5-3-5 on home ice.
Defenseman Bobby Shea notched his first goal of the playoffs last night in the 3-0 win. The former Nailer skated in 36 games last season with Wheeling. Shea is the only the players of the two teams in this series to have won a Kelly Cup Championship which he won in 2013 with Reading.