Rays Top Norfolk to Claim South Division TitleApr 8, 2016
It's another banner year for the South Carolina Stingrays. The Stingrays (43-18-7-3) scored six unanswered goals to earn a 6-2 win over the Norfolk Admirals (30-36-4-1) Friday night at the Norfolk Scope. With the win, the Stingrays are the 2015-16 South Division Champions, and are guaranteed to finish no lower than second place in the Eastern Conference heading into the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Joe Devin had three points, and both Kelly Zajac and Caleb Herbert notched two goals in the win.
Norfolk jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Braden Christoffer at 13:27 and Greg Chase at 16:14. South Carolina would start its comeback with a goal just before the first period came to a close. Austin Fyten scored with 9.6 seconds on the clock to make it 2-1. David Pacan's pass to Fyten in front of the net setup the forward for his ninth goal of the season.
It did not take long for the Stingrays to tie the game in the second period. Herbert scored his ninth goal of the season only 30 seconds into the middle frame to make it 2-2. Fyten setup Herbert with a pass on the left wing. The forward fanned on his first shot, but recollected the puck and beat Norfolk goalie Niklas Lundstrom to tie the score.
Zajac would score back-to-back goals at 4:29 and 8:24 to put the Stingrays up by a pair. Devin sprung Zajac on a breakaway for his first goal. The forward was hooked and crashed into Lundstrom, but the puck trickled over the goal line to make it 3-2 Stingrays.
Zajac's second goal would come from the slot on a shot that deflected off a defender's stick. Devin and Derek DeBlois assisted on Zajac's eighth goal of the year that made it 4-2.
South Carolina would add a pair of goals in the third period. Devin scored his first goal since March 5 on a breakaway, beating Lundstrom over the glove on the power play at 10:20 of the third period to make it 5-2. Herbert would add his second goal of the game, jumping on a Lundstrom rebound off a Nick D'Agostino shot, for his 10th goal of the season in only his 14th game with South Carolina.
Mark Dekanich earned his 19th win of the season in goal for the Stingrays in his 200th professional game in North America. He stopped 27 shots. The Admirals outshot the Stingrays 29-26.
The Stingrays have not lost in regulation since February 28. They are 11-0-3-1 over the past 15 games.
The Stingrays finish the regular season in Norfolk tomorrow at 7:15 p.m. The Stingrays have already clinched a spot in the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs and the club released home dates for the opening round of the playoffs yesterday. The club will host Game 4 of the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the North Charleston Coliseum on Thursday, April 21 at 7:05 p.m. The club will also host Games 5, 6 and 7, if necessary. Get more information HERE or call 843-744-2248.