ESTERO, FL – Wayne Simpson recorded a hat trick and scored in the shootout to lift the South Carolina Stingrays to a 6-5 shootout win over the Florida Everblades Wednesday night. South Carolina clinches a spot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with the win. Florida earns a point in the standings and trail eighth place Fort Wayne by two points.
Florida got on the board first in the game on a wrist shot by Brandon MacLean at 8:19 of the opening period.
The Stingrays used a shorthanded goal to even the game at one, as Luke Greiner led a 2-on-1 rush in the zone. Greiner called his number and wristed a shot cleanly past Evebrlades netmidner Mac Carruth for the goal.
On the same power play, Florida reclaimed the lead at 2-1. Kyle Bonis stretched a pass across the crease to Aaron Bogosian who finished off the play beating Stingrays goaltender Allen York for the power play marker.
After a scoreless second period, the Everblades started the period with 3:44 of power play time from a major penalty assessed to Jack Downing that carried over the from the second period. Mathieu Roy scored the lone goal of the power play chance at 1:48 of the third to extend the lead to 3-1.
South Carolina received a five-minute power play of its own, after Stefan Della Rovere was handed a major penalty for interference. The opportunity sparked the Rays who were able to net two goals to tie the game. The first goal was scored off a shot that skipped off the body of Patrick Gaul and into the net. The second was put home on a wrister from the slot by Wayne Simpsonwhich tied the game at three at 8:32 of the third. .
Less than two minutes later, Simpson scored again on a wrist shot from the right wing circle to give the Stingrays their first lead of the game 4-3.
Simpson completed the natural hat trick at 17:41 of the period, as he finished off a 2-on-1 rush into the zone to extend the South Carolina lead to 5-3, and complete a stretch of four unanswered goals in the third period.
The Everblades pulled the goaltender to allow for the extra attacker, and then received a power play opportunity when Kevin Ryan was called for slashing which set up a 6-on-4 advantage for Florida.
The ‘Blades converted, as Geoff Walker slid a pass across the ice to Rob Kwiet who delivered a one-timed shot into the net past goaltender Pheonix Copley Copley made his ECHL debut in relief of an injured Allen York. Kwiet’s goal with 1:04 remaining in regulation pulled Florida within one.
The Everblades once again pulled the goaltender to allow for the extra attacker. Florida got one more chance when Brandon MacLean raced into the zone and steered a puck from behind the net out in front. The puck bounced around the crease and was batted around by several ‘Blades players, before Roy tipped it across the goaline with 2.6 seconds remaining in regulation. Roy’s team leading 25th goal of the season tied the game at five and forced overtime.
Neither team sealed the game in overtime, which forced the shootout. South Carolina received shootout goals from Dale Mitchell and Simpson to secure the 6-5 shootout win.
Pheonix Copley earns the win stopping nine of 11 shots in a relief effort, while Carruth takes the loss allowing five goals on 34 shots faced.
The two teams will also meet on Saturday (April 5) at 7:00 p.m. McDonald’s Tailgate Party starts at 5:00 p.m. featuring live music and bounce houses for the kids! The team’s will close out the week on Sunday (April 6) at 5:00 p.m.
Game Tickets: Everblades tickets may be purchased at the Capital Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online at www.ticketmaster.com
Discounted Group Tickets: Bring your group of 10 or more to a game at a discounted price, and also receive an Everblades souvenir! Group tickets are available for all home games. For more information on group tickets, call 239-948-7825.
2014-15 Ticket Packages are currently on sale! Full season and 12-game, and 24-game options are also available! All packages save you money from the box office price, and come with many great benefits. For more information call 239-948-7825, or stop by the Everblades Main Office located at Germain Arena, Monday—Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Broadcast Information: All ‘Blades games will be broadcast live online at www.floridaeverblades.com and on the Everblades’ app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, with a video webcast available through America ONE, the official broadband and mobile broadcaster of the ECHL, at www.americaonesports.com
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the Carolina Hurricanes and TampaBay Lightning.