Kalamazoo, MI – The South Carolina Stingrays (3-2) fell to the Kalamazoo Wings (4-1) 6-4 in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Wings Stadium Friday night.
The Wings jumped on the board first with a tally from forward Nick Sirota at 3:39 of the first period slipping a shot past Stingrays goaltender Rob Madore (L, 22 saves on 28 shots). Forwards Darren Archibald and Kory Karlander earned assists. The Stingrays responded with forward Maxime Lacroix’s fifth goal of the playoffs at 10:32 from defenseman Damon Kipp and forward Greg Stewart. Sirota made it a 2-1 Wings lead at 11:54 from Karlander and Archibald. Stingrays forward Andrew Cherniwchan tied the contest at 17:26 tapping a pass from defenseman Dustin Stevenson past the left leg of Wings netminder Riley Gill (W, 31 saves on 35 shots). Forward Pierre-Luc O’Brien added the second assist. With 1:15 to play in the period, forward Trent Daavettila gave the Wings their third lead with help from forward Dwight Helminen and defenseman Wes O’Neill.
Wings forward Dustin Cloutier made it a two-goal lead late in the second period deflecting a shot from forward Justin Taylor past the glove of Madore. Forward Eric Kattelus registered the second assist.
Three goals lit the lamp in 24 seconds in the third period with the Wings taking a 6-3 advantage. Wings defenseman Elgin Reid buried two goals 14 seconds apart at 11:26 and 11:40 from Cloutier and Taylor and then Daavettila and forward Darryl Bootland. Billy Sauer (2 saves on 2 shots) entered the game, replacing Madore. Stingrays winger Billy Ryan jumped in ten seconds later with his first goal of the playoffs at 11:50 from Cherniwchan and O’Brien. Stingrays forward Michael Dorr wrapped up the scoring at 17:52 from defenseman Brett Flemming and forward Chris Higgins. Both teams finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play.
Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Stingrays and Wings is tomorrow, Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Wings Stadium. The series moves to the North Charleston Coliseum for Game Three, Four and Five (in necessary) on Wednesday, April 18, Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 at 7:05 p.m. Visit Stingrayshockey.com for tickets and information!
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