Rays Take 3-2 Series Lead With Game 5 Win

May 21, 2016

The South Carolina Stingrays are one win from advancing to the Kelly Cup Finals. The Stingrays (11-6) earned a 3-1 victory over the Wheeling Nailers (10-8) in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals Saturday night in Wheeling. David Pacan scored the game-winning goal at 12:43 of the third period to give the Stingrays a 3-2 series lead, and a chance to win the series on home ice in Game 6 Monday night at the North Charleston Coliseum. 

For the first time in the series, and for the the first time in seven games, Wheeling opened the scoring. Cody Wydo notched a goal on the power play at 11:11 of the first period to make it 1-0 Nailers. Wydo deflected a Mathew Maione shot from the high slot past the left pad of Stingrays goaltender Vitek Vanecek. 

The Stingrays would even the score mid-way though the second period with a power play goal of their own. Colton Saucerman scored at 9:40 to tie the game. Kelly Zajac won a face-off to Saucerman. He cut to the slot, and beat Wheeling goaltender Brian Foster with a wrist shot over the blocker to make it 1-1. 

Just like the night prior, the game would enter the third period tied. The Stingrays would outshoot the Nailers 16-8 in the third period, and the visitors were rewarded with a pair of goals. Pacan scored his third goal of the playoffs with each team down a skater. Austin Fyten moved the puck to the front of the net from the left wing. Pacan was open on the top of the crease, and tapped a shot past Foster to make it 2-1 South Carolina. 

The Nailers would pull Foster for an extra-attacker, and Stephan Vigier scored an empty net goal with 1:01 to play to seal the win for South Carolina. 

The Stingray outshot the Nailers 38-28 in the win. Vanecek stopped 27 shots in the victory. 

The series shifts to the North Charleston Coliseum on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. for Game 6. A victory would send the Stingrays to the Kelly Cup Finals for a second straight season. The game will feature a Stingrays Happy Hour from 6-8 p.m. featuring $2 beer. The game also features $2 hot dogs all game long. Tickets start at just $13 and are available at the North Charleston Coliseum Box Office or online via Ticketmaster. 

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