Stingrays Even Series with Game 4 VictoryMay 20, 2016
The South Carolina Stingrays (10-6) power play could not have picked a bigger time to score for the first time in the Eastern Conference Finals. Brett Cameron's goal on the man-advantage at 15:09 of the third period was the game-winning tally, as South Carolina overcame a 2-1 deficit to earn a 4-2 victory over the Wheeling Nailers (10-7) in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The series is tied, 2-2, and is guaranteed to return to South Carolina next week.
The Stingrays trailed early in the third period as Ty Loney scored his fifth goal of the postseason only 48 seconds into the frame, beating Stingrays netminder Vitek Vanecek through the five-hole to make it 2-1 Nailers.
After seeing the Nailers earn third period comeback wins in Game 2 and Game 3, the Stingrays flipped the script on Friday night. Vanecek came up with a giant breakaway save on Riley Brace to keep it 2-1, and South Carolina would tie the game at 11:57 on a turnover by Brace. The forward tried to float a pass out of the defensive zone. Marcus Perrier intercepted the clearing attempt, and beat Wheeling's Franky Palazzese with a slap shot to make it 2-2. The goal was Perrier's first of the playoffs.
After going 0-for-10 through the first three games of the series on the power play, and 0-for-4 to start the evening, the Stingrays made the final power play of the night count. With James Melindy in the box for tripping, Cameron scored his fifth goal of the playoffs at 15:09. Stephan Vigier won a puck battle off a face-off, and Kelly Zajac broke through a scrum of players. He cut out front and fed a pass to Cameron on the right side of the crease. Cameron roofed a shot up and over the glove of a sprawled Palazzese to give the Stingrays the 3-2 lead.
David Pacan would add his second goal of the playoff into an empty net, shorthanded, at 18:43 to give the Stingrays the 4-2 win.
Scoring earlier in the game came when the two teams traded goals in a span of just 1:02 in the second period. South Carolina struck first with a goal at 4:57 of the middle frame. Austin Fyten threw a pass up ice to Caleb Herbert. The forward knocked the pass down with his skate and charged ahead. He snapped a shot past the blocker of Palazzese from the right wing to make it 1-0 South Carolina. At 5:59, Wheeling responded as Brace's backhand shot popped over the blocker of Vanecek to make it 1-1.
South Carolina outshot the Nailers 25-19 on the evening. The Stingrays were 1-for-5 on the power play while Wheeling was 0-for-4.