Vanecek, Herbert Lead Rays to 3-0 Win WednesdayApr 6, 2016
Goaltender Vitek Vanecek stopped 24 shots to earn his fourth shutout of the season, and Caleb Herbert helped lead the South Carolina Stingrays (42-18-7-3) to a three-goal third period in a 3-0 victory over the Atlanta Gladiators (33-30-5-3) on the road Wednesday. Herbert, as well as David Pacan and Austin Fyten, all finished the game with a goal and an assist for the Stingrays.
Much like the last meeting between Atlanta and South Carolina at the Infinite Energy Arena, the goaltenders stole the show early. Both Atlanta's Matt Ginn and Vanecek didn't flinch through the first 40 minutes of the game. Ginn stopped 21 shots in the loss as each team fired 24 shots.
Only 20 seconds into the third period, Herbert scored the eventual game-winning goal from the right wing. Atlanta's Max Everson broke his stick on a shot from the blue line and the puck came to Herbert. He walked from his own zone into the Atlanta end and beat Ginn with a wrist shot over the glove for his eighth goal of the season.
The Stingrays would score again at the 9:17 mark. Again, confusion with a stick caused Atlanta issues. Ginn lost his stick stopping a Bobby Shea shot, and took teammate Luke Shiplo's stick. As the two attempted to return the sticks to their rightful owners, David Pacan walked out front and fed a pass to Fyten at the end of the crease. He flipped a shot over Ginn's pad to make it 2-0.
David Pacan would score his 20th goal of the season into the empty net at 18:03 to seal the victory. Herbert assisted on the goal, completing a "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" after scrapping with Atlanta's Ian Barteaux in the first period.
The Stingrays are now four points ahead of Florida for the South Division lead, and trail Toledo by three points for the Eastern Conference lead.
The Stingrays finish the regular season in Norfolk for a pair of contests on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 7:15 p.m. The Stingrays have already clinched a spot in the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs and the club released home dates for the opening round of the playoffs yesterday. The club will host Game 4 of the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the North Charleston Coliseum on Thursday, April 21 at 7:05 p.m. The club will also host Games 5, 6 and 7, if necessary. Get more information HERE or call 843-744-2248.
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