Season Ends as Nailers Take Game 7May 24, 2016
A fantastic season that saw the South Carolina Stingrays claim a South Division title, and come within one game of returning to the Kelly Cup Finals, came to a close Tuesday night. The Wheeling Nailers (12-8) earned a 5-2 victory over the Stingrays (11-8) in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the North Charleston Coliseum. The Nailers scored three goals in the first 5:03 of the third period to break a 2-2 tie, earning them a spot in the Kelly Cup Finals where they will battle the Allen Americans.
The Stingrays got goals from David Pacan and Austin Fyten in the loss. Both players finished the postseason on 10, and 11-game point streaks, respectively. The Nailers jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a John McCarron goal just 2:21 into the game, but Pacan responded 1:08 later, deflecting a Wade Epp shot from the point over the blocker of goaltender Brian Foster to tie the game, 1-1.
The Nailers would retake the lead on a goal from Cody Wydo at 8:03 of the first period. Again, the Stingrays would respond, getting a goal from Fyten on the power play. After going 0-for-8 on the power play in Game 6, the Stingrays struck on the man-advantage. Only six seconds into the power play, Bobby Shea fed Fyten for a one-timer from the slot. He beat Foster over the blocker for his eighth goal of the playoffs at 18:26.
Both teams failed to score in the second period, sending the winner-take-all Game 7 to the third period deadlocked 2-2.
Wheeling would break the tie just 24 seconds into the third period, as Jarrett Burton flipped a backhand shot past Vanecek from the crease. At 1:09, former Stingray Jordan Kwas made it 4-2 Wheeling, tucking a Ty Loney pass into the open net with Vanecek down and out.
At 5:03, the Nailers would deliver the final blow as Loney scored on a rebound off a Cody Wydo shot for his sixth goal of the playoffs to make it 5-2.
Despite falling short of a Kelly Cup Championship, South Carolina enjoyed a highly successful 23rd season in the Lowcountry. The team won the South Division and finished with a record of 44-18-7-3. That mark was good for 98 points, the second highest total in franchise history. The club secured a playoff spot for a 22nd year, and advanced to the Conference Finals for the fifth time in franchise history.
The 2016-17 season opens in October. Opening Night is October 22 versus the rival Greenville Swamp Rabbits. 2016-17 Season Ticket Packages are on sale now featuring discounted pricing and great benefits. For more information, fans may call our offices at 843.744.2248 or visit StingraysHockey.com.
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