Rays Close 2016 With 5-1 Defeat Of FloridaDec 31, 2016
In their final contest of 2016, the South Carolina Stingrays (16-11-1-1) got goals from five different skaters and comfortably defeated the Florida Everblades (20-7-1-2), the top team in the ECHL’s South Division, 5-1 on Saturday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Once again it was forward Kelly Zajac who led the way for South Carolina with a goal and two assists, while Derek DeBlois and Joe Devin each had a goal and an assist in the victory. Defenseman Wade Epp also scored his first goal of the season in the first period and goaltender Parker Milner made 26 saves in his 13th win of the year.
The Stingrays wasted no time getting on the board in the opening period as Zajac lit the lamp 90 seconds into the contest with a power play strike from DeBlois and defenseman Steve Weinstein.
South Carolina limited chances in the opening frame and increased its lead to 2-0 right before intermission at 18:20 when Epp notched his first of the year from Devin.
Once again in the second period the Stingrays struck quickly with DeBlois’ eighth goal of the year on the power play 16 seconds into the period, making it 3-0. Zajac earned the first assist, while Weinstein picked up his second helper of the night.
Just over three minutes later forward Rob Flick scored his team-leading 13th goal of the season on an offensive zone turnover from forwards Dylan Margonari and Steve McParland and South Carolina was in total control at 4-0.
The Everblades score their lone tally of the night at 2:52 of the third period, with forward Brant Harris getting the goal on the rush just after a Rays power play had expired.
Devin finished off the game with his eighth goal of the year at 18:25 on the third, coming in on a rush with a shot from the slot. Zajac had the first assist for his third point of the night and team-leading 35th point of the year, while defenseman Alex Brooks picked up the second helper.
The Stingrays finished 2-for-4 on the man-advantage, while Florida was held off the scoreboard on the power play at 0-for-4. Everblades’ goaltender Anthony Peters took the loss, making 21 saves in the contest. South Carolina and Florida each finished with 27 total shots on net.
The Rays have won three games in a row and now have 34 points in the standings, which has them in 4th place.
South Carolina will take on the Tulsa Oilers Tuesday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. The game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Single-game tickets for the 2016-17 season are on sale now at the North Charleston Coliseum Box Office and ticketmaster.com.
Ticket packages and Groups of 10 or more are on sale now featuring discounted pricing and great benefits. Tuesday’s game is a Stingrays Happy Hour, with $2 Beer from 6-8 p.m. and $2 Hot Dogs all night! For more information or to place an order call the Stingrays front office at 843-744-2248 or stop by 3300 W. Montague Ave. Suite A-200 during business hours.