By Robert Molnar
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – Steven Whitney scored a goal and added two assists while Joe Devin also added a goal and an assist to help lead the rival South Carolina Stingrays (20-7-3-1, 44 pts) to a 5-2 victory over the Florida Everblades (23-6-1-2, 49 pts) Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
The Everblades scored the opening goal of the contest off of another fancy looking goal from Mitchell Heard. Mitchell Heard picked up a pass from Justin Kea and was all alone in the slot. After a few deke moves, Heard finally unleashed his shot, ripping it top shelf past the glove of South Carolina goaltender Parker Milner.
Unfortunately, the ‘Blades lead would be short-lived. Just under two-minutes later, South Carolina got on the board, tying the game at 1-1. Steven Whitney picked up the loose puck at the circle and took advantage of an open lane in front of him, firing the puck between the near side post and Everblades goaltender Martin Ouellette.
Halfway through the first, the Stingrays grabbed their first advantage of the contest as they capitalized on a ‘Blades turnover inside of their own zone. Justin Kea was forced off the puck by Joe Devin. Throwing the puck towards the low slot, Devin’s pass was picked up and quickly sliced into the net by Dylan Margonari.
Late in the first, the Stingrays took a 3-1 lead off a power play goal from Taylor Cammarata. An initial shot from Steven Whitney was stopped by Martin Ouellette. However, the rebound would pin ball back and forth across the face of goal before it was finally hammered into the net by an arriving Cammarata.
While the second period would see no goals scored for either team, it was anything but uneventful. Featuring more than a few scrums between the ‘Blades and Stingrays, it was clear that the rivalry had reignited between the two teams.
In the third period, it was clear that this would not be the Everblades night. Put on the penalty kill early in the period, the ‘Blades would surrender their second power play goal of the night, giving South Carolina a 4-1 advantage. Joe Devin received a nice centering feed from Dylan Margonari before snapping his shot into the net.
Despite this, the ‘Blades did not go away quietly. Stephen MacAulay made the score 4-2 as he buried home a second chance opportunity. Michael Kirkpatrick’s chance was stopped by Parker Milner. However, the rebound took the puck right to the stick of MacAulay who quickly hammered the puck into the back of the net.
Truly ending any hope of an Everblades comeback just minutes later, Patrick Gaul used a lucky bounce to his advantage, burying a point blank shot past Martin Ouellette to give South Carolina the 5-2 win.
Parker Milner played extremely well in goal for South Carolina and earns the win after stopping 23 of the 25 shots he faced. Martin Ouellette suffers the loss in goal for the Everblades, allowing five goals on 22 shots.
Returning to the ice tomorrow afternoon, the Florida Everblades will once again faceoff against the rival South Carolina Stingrays at the North Charleston Coliseum. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Eastern Time. Fans can also catch the game broadcast on the 99.3 ESPN Radio Online Stream by CLICKING HERE. Fans can also watch the game online at ECHL.TV
Upcoming Home Games
Friday, January 12, vs. Jacksonville, 7:30 p.m. Faith & Family Night! For every Friday night game this season, kids eat free in the Breakaway Sports Pub with the purchase of an adult entree!
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The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes###