Vanecek Blanks Swamp Rabbits, 4-0Mar 10, 2016
Two goals from Marcus Perrier, and 28 saves from netminder Vitek Vanecek led the South Carolina Stingrays (34-18-5-2) to a 4-0 victory over the South Division rival Greenville Swamp Rabbits (26-25-7-0) Thursday night at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Vanecek earned his second professional shutout in the victory, and defenseman Ryan Ruikka's first ECHL goal in the second period was the game-winning tally. The victory was the Stingrays fourth straight win over the Swamp Rabbits.
The second period saw the Stingrays fire 21 shots, a season-high for a single period. After the goaltenders stole the show in the game's opening period, South Carolina found the back of the net at the 15:41 mark of the game's middle frame. Defenseman Ryan Ruikka scored his first ECHL goal from the right point to make it 1-0. South Carolina forward Patrick Gaul moved the puck back to Ruikka along the blue line. He fired a half-speed slap shot that found its way through traffic, and beat Greenville netminder MacKenzie Skapski past the left pad.
The Stingrays scored a beautiful goal to double the lead at 17:25 of the second period. A tic-tac-toe passing play on a rush down the left wing resulted in an easy tap-in goal for Kelly Zajac on the backdoor. Nick D'Agositno led the charge with a give-and-go with Joe Devin. The puck was fed across the crease to Zajac. He beat Skapski past the left pad to make it 2-0 Stingrays. The goal was Zajac's second of the season.
The third period saw Perrier strike twice to double South Carolina's lead. The versatile Perrier, skating at forward for the second straight game, beat Skapski from the top of the crease on a pass from David Pacan only 1:42 into the period. Perrier struck again at 5:20, scoring on a similar play from Jared Staal and Patrick Gaul for his eighth goal of the season to make it 4-0.
Vanecek was strong all evening long, including stopping 13 shots in the third period. He earned his 13th victory of the season and has now won six straight starts.
Don’t leave Fido at home…Bring your dog to the Stingrays game tomorrow, Friday, March 11 at 7:05 p.m. as Stingrays host the Atlanta Gladiators. It’s our annual Dog Days of Winter game, and fans are encouraged to bring their canine companion to the game! The evening will also feature fan-favorite Wiener Dog Races during the first intermission. Fans are encouraged to call 843-744-2248 or visit StingraysHockey.com for ticket info.