Rays Top Florida 6-1 WednesdayFeb 24, 2016
02/24/2016 10:13 PM -
ESTERO, F.L.-The South Carolina Stingrays scored early and often Wednesday night to pull within two points of the lead in the South Division. The Stingrays (31-17-4-2) earned a 6-1 victory over the rival Florida Everblades (34-16-0-2) at the Germain Arena, thanks to a pair of goals from Stephan Vigier and a perfect 3-for-3 effort on the power play. South Carolina now sits at 68 points, just two behind Florida at 70 points, heading into two games versus the Everblades this weekend.
After earning an 8-1 win over the Everblades in their last meeting on February 6, the Stingrays wasted no time jumping out to a lead Wednesday. Forward Brett Cameron scored his team-leading 19th goal of the season just 54 seconds into the game to give the Stingrays a 1-0 lead. Wade Epp, playing in his 100th professional game, fired a shot from the point. It was blocked by a Florida defender, but the rebound popped to Cameron who scored on the rebound.
South Carolina struck on the power play at 6:08 of the opening period to make it 2-0. Vigier deflected a shot across to Joe Devin on the left wing. He backhanded a shot past Florida goaltender Anthony Peters for his 14th goal of the season. Kelly Zajac also assisted.
Vigier would score his first of two goals on the evening on a broken play with only 3.9 seconds remaining in the opening period. Bobby Shea attempted a cross-ice pass that deflected to Vigier in the slot. He snapped a shot past Peters' blocker to make it 3-0 on the power play.
After Maxime St. Cyr scored on a three-on-one rush to cut the Stingrays lead to 3-1 at 8:43 of the second period, the Stingrays quickly responded at 10:38. David Pacan scored his 17th goal of the season on a two-on-one rush, beating Peters underneath the pad to make it 4-1. The goal ended Peters' night, as he was replaced by Rasumus Tirronen after allowing four goals on 17 shots.
The Stingrays would add a pair of goals in the third period. Caleb Herbert scored on the power play only 26 seconds into the game's final frame, beating Tirronen on a wrap-around. Vigier would notch his second goal of the game at 13:09 to make it 6-1. A pass off Jared Staal's skate bounced right to Vigier in front of the goal, and the forward beat Tirronen with a shot over the left shoulder.
South Carolina outshot the Everblades 27-25 and help Florida to 0-for-3 on the power play. South Carolina netminder Mark Dekanich stopped 24 shots to earn the win. The netminder has earned victories in seven of his last eight starts.
South Carolina and Florida play again on Saturday and Sunday at the Germain Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m on Saturday. Fans are encouraged to attend Watch Parties at King Street Grille-Northwoods.
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