Stingrays Come Up Short In ColoradoMar 4, 2017
The Colorado Eagles (40-14-1-3) held off a late charge from the South Carolina Stingrays (30-25-2-1), securing a 5-4 win in a physical contest at the Budweiser Event Center on Friday night.
Forwards Rob Flick, Steven McParland and Scott Tanski each had multi-point nights for the Stingrays, all scoring a goal and adding an assist in the loss. Defenseman Colton Saucerman also chipped in with two assists for South Carolina.
The Stingrays took a 1-0 lead at 12:15 of the first period, when defenseman Steve Weinstein beat goaltender Clarke Saunders with a wrist shot just inside the offensive blue line for his fourth goal of the season. Assists on the tally went to Flick and Danny Federico.
Later in the frame, things got physical as multiple players dropped the gloves. Saucerman took on Jake Marto at 13:44 before Wade Epp battled Darryl Bootland at 16:05.
The Eagles tied the game at 1:32 of the second when Luke Salazar converted on the power play, evening things up at 1-1.
Flick’s team-leading 25th tally of the season put the Stingrays back up 2-1 at 8:03 of the middle frame. The forward made a move to the slot and backhanded the puck over the glove of Saunders. Flick was helped out by Alex Brooks and Tanski, who picked up assists on the goal.
But once again Colorado evened things up at 2-2 with a shorthanded marker by defenseman Teigan Zahn at 14:03. The game went to the third period with the teams all tied up.
The Eagles took a 3-2 advantage at 4:21 of the final frame when defenseman Sam Jardine converted on the power play with just one second to go in a man-advantage opportunity.
Colorado then took a two-goal lead with Salazar’s second power play goal of the game at 10:46 to make it 4-2. The goal was the third on the man-advantage for the Eagles in the contest, who finished 3-for-6 on the power play in the game.
The Stingrays didn’t give up however and made it a one-goal game again with a power play goal of their own as Tanski bear Saunders up high with a wrist shot from the slot. McParland found Tanski with a pass from behind the net for the first assist, while Saucerman recorded the second helper on the goal.
Colorado’s Kenny Brooks made it 5-3 just 1:50 after Tanski’s tally with a breakaway goal set up by Jake Marto.
Again the Rays made it a one-goal game when McParland scored his 17th of the year from Joey Leach and Saucerman at 17:04 of the third. McParland used a quick turn-around wrister from the top of the right circle to make it 5-4.
South Carolina pulled goaltender Parker Milner in the final minute, but couldn’t find an equalizer in the waning moments and fell by a single marker.
Late in the game, more physical play occurred with Rob Flick, Trevor Gillies, Sam Jardine and Teigan Zahn all picking up major penalties for fighting.
Milner finished the game with 21 saves, while Saunders stopped 22 shots at the other end for the Eagles.
The Stingrays finish out the series with the Colorado and their western road trip Saturday night with a 9:05 p.m. contest. South Carolina returns home to the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday, March 11 to face the Florida Everblades at 7:05 p.m.
Single-game tickets for all Stingrays games during 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. The first 2,000 fans through the doors on March 11 will receive a Joe Devin Bobblehead! 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.