Stingrays Drown Admirals With 6-3 WinDec 16, 2016
Behind goals from six different skaters, the South Carolina Stingrays (12-9-1-1) defeated the Norfolk Admirals (4-17-4-0) by a final score of 6-3 on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
Forward Kelly Zajac led the way with a goal and two assists, while defenseman Max Nicastro scored his first goal as a Stingray and also added two assists.
Other multi-point efforts came from forward Joe Devin (one goal, one assist) and defensemen Steve Weinstein (one goal, one assist) and Wade Epp (two assists). Parker Milner made 26 saves to earn his ninth win of the season in between the pipes for the Stingrays.
The game served as another see-saw battle between the squads, mirroring what had transpired Wednesday night when the Admirals earned a 4-3 win in a shootout. Norfolk fought back to tie the game three times after the Stingrays had taken leads, but South Carolina scored two unanswered tallies in the third to pull away.
Weinstein opened the scoring at 7:22 for the Rays, slipping a backhand into the net with assists from Devin and Zajac at 7:22 of the first period.
Paul Rodrigues tied the game at 1-1 later in the first with a goal at 14:08 and the game was even at the first intermission.
Both teams traded goals during the first 12 minutes of the middle frame. For South Carolina, Nicastro struck 50 seconds into the stanza with assists from Weinstein and rookie forward Tim McGauley, while Zajac notched his seventh tally of the year at 4:04 from forward Derek DeBlois. McGauley’s assist was his first professional point in his second career game.
Norfolk’s second-period goals were scored by Josh Brittain at 2:23 and Ben Murphy at 12:08.
Forward Patrick Gaul redirected a shot by Epp into the back of the net at 18:42 to give the Stingrays a 4-3 advantage going into the third period and the team never looked back. A second assist on the goal was credited to forward Domenic Monardo.
Devin and forward Rob Flick scored in the final period to extend the South Carolina lead and put the game out of reach. Devin’s sixth of the year came on a deflection in front of the net with assists by Nicastro and Zajac on the power play at 7:16.
Then Flick notched his team-leading ninth of the year in the final minute at 19:28 from Nicastro and Epp to make it 6-3 and close the scoring.
Both teams Stingrays finished 1-for-6 on the power play, while Norfolk outshot South Carolina 29-23 in the contest. The Admirals had Brandon Anderson start in goal for the first 27:17 before replacing him with backup Connor Knapp for the final 32:38. Anderson made eight saves, while Knapp had nine stops, with both allowing three goals.
The teams finish their three-game week in Norfolk on Saturday night, with first face-off scheduled for 7:15 p.m. The Stingrays return to North Charleston to take on Greenville Tuesday at 7:05.
Single-game tickets for the 2016-17 season are on sale now at the North Charleston Coliseum Box Office and ticketmaster.com.
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