The South Carolina Stingrays erased an early two-goal deficit in the first but were unable to score in the second and third period and fell to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits by a final score of 5-2 in Game 2 of the ECHL’s Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
The best-of-5 series is now tied 1-1 with Game 3 set to be played on Saturday night in Greenville at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena at 7:05 p.m. Game 4 will take place on Monday night in North Charleston at the Carolina Ice Palace at 7:05 p.m.
Stingrays’ goals came from Brett Supinski and Macoy Erkamps, who found the back of the net less than four minutes apart from each other. Erkamps was the lone SC skater with a multi-point night, also picking up an assist on Supinski’s tally.
Greenville jumped out to a 2-0 lead early on with goals by Shawn Cameron at 4:10 and Garrett Thompson on the power play at 8:47 of the first.
Supinski brought the Rays back within one later in the frame, making it 2-1 with his second goal of the postseason on a redirect in front of the net that got past goaltender John Lethemon at 11:01. Erkamps took the initial shot from the right point, while forward Matthew Weis picked up the second assist on the play.
Then Erkamps netted his first goal of the playoffs to even the game 2-2 at 14:23 from forward Mark Cooper and defender Blake Hillman. The shot also came from the right point, but unlike his attempt earlier, this one went straight through a screen set in front of the net by forward Dan DeSalvo and into the cage.
Greg Meireles put Greenville back in front 3-2 with the lone strike of the second period on the power play at 6:25 of the middle frame.
The Swamp Rabbits extended their lead with two more in the third that came just 1:05 apart from each other. David Broll struck at 2:59 before Samuel Jardine found the back of the net with a shot at 4:04.
Lethemon held South Carolina off the board in the final 40 minutes, by turning aside the last 33 shots he faced. The Stingrays had the edge in shots-on-goal in the contest, outshooting Greenville 38-34 overall and 16-7 in a come-from-behind effort during the third period.
The Swamp Rabbits finished 2-for-4 on the man-advantage, while holding SC to an 0-for-4 mark. Hunter Shepard took the loss for the Rays, stopping 29 shots during his seventh start of the postseason.
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