ESTERO, FL – Marcus Perrier scored twice to help lead the South Carolina Stingrays to a 6-3 victory over the Florida Everblades in Game 1 of the East Division Finals at Germain Arena Friday night. The Stingrays take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
South Carolina got on the board first halfway through the opening period. Andrew Rowe flipped a shot off the pads of Florida goaltender Daniel Altshuller. The puck then rolled slowly toward the goal line but defenseman Mike Cornell cradled the puck just before it crossed. Cornell delivered the puck out of harms away, but it was sent to Drew MacKenzie in the slot. MacKenzie rolled a backhander into the net for the tally.
The Rays made it 2-0 just 45 seconds into the second period on Rob Bellamy’s shot from the right wing circle.
Florida got on the board two minutes later when Mitch Wahl tapped a puck to Matt Marqaurdt low on the right wing. Marquardt squeezed a shot over the shoulder of Stingrays netminder Jeff Jakaitis to put the score at 2-1.
South Carolina grabbed two more goals during the next three minutes. Marcus Perrier scored from the slot, while Wayne Simpson scored on the power play to increase the Stingrays lead to 4-1.
Just 12 seconds later, Florida pulled back within two. Gleason Fournier delivered a shot from the slot that was stopped by Jakaitis. However, the rebound bounced directly to Wahl at the left wing, who flexed the puck into the South Carolina net.
Marcus Perrier struck again with just a 1:15 remaining in the middle frame. After a faceoff win in the offensive zone the Rays worked the puck to Perrier at the point. Perrier flipped a shot that slipped past Altshsuller for the goal to put the Stingrays back on top by three after two periods.
Florida converted on its fourth power play opportunity of the night when Adam Brace one-timed a puck into the net from the point, but it would now be enough as the Stingrays added an empty net tally to secure Game 1 by a 6-3 score.
Jakaitis earned the win stopping 21 of 24 shots faced, while Altshuller took the loss allowing five goals on 15 shots. Brad Barone made his professional debut at the start of the third period for Florida in a relief effort and stopped all five shots faced.
The two teams will get together for Game 2 on Saturday at Germain Arena beginning at 7:00 p.m.
2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs – East Division Finals, Florida Everblades vs. South Carolina Stingrays (South Carolina leads series 1-0)
Game 1 : Friday, May 1, S. Carolina - 6 at Florida - 3 Game 2: Saturday, May 2, S. Carolina at Florida, Germain Arena, 7:00 p.m.Game 3: Tues., May 5, Florida at S. Carolina, North Charleston Coliseum, 7:05 p.m.Game 4: Wed., May 6, Florida at S. Carolina, North Charleston Coliseum, 7:05 p.m.Game 5: Fri., May 8, Florida at S. Carolina, North Charleston Coliseum, 7:05 p.m. **Game 6: Monday, May 11, S. Carolina at Florida, Germain Arena, 7:30 p.m.**Game 7: Tuesday, May 12 , S. Carolina at Florida, Germain Arena, 7:30 p.m. **** If Necessary
Game Tickets: Everblades tickets may be purchased at the Century Link Prism Box Office located at Germain Arena, or at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online atwww.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.
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.