Milner Stymies 'Blades in Series-Opening Setback
ESTERO, Fla. - Matthew Weis scored in the first four minutes of the game and Parker Milner posted a 22-save shutout to help the South Carolina Stingrays defeat the Florida Everblades, 2-0, on Friday at Hertz Arena.
In similar fashion to the Everblades' (12-7-1-2, 27 pts.) first two games of the season series with South Carolina (16-2-1-0, 33 pts.), the game was about as heavy of defensive hockey as it gets. That style of play has been a staple for the Stingrays, which held the 'Blades to a season-low 22 shots on goal in the game.
The Stingrays potted the first goal of the game on a 2-on-1 rush 3:07 into the first period. Skating in stride with his winger, Weis took a shot from the left circle that snuck under the pad of Florida goaltender Ken Appleby as he was going down into butterfly to give the Stingrays the first lead of the game.
South Carolina added a crucial power-play goal late in the third period to close out the 'Blades. From behind the 'Blades net, Dan DeSalvo found Mark Cooper high in the right circle for a one-timer that beat Appleby high on his glove side.
Despite the loss, Appleby had a great night in net. He finished with 25 saves, including a stellar breakaway denial of Mark Cooper in the first period that kept Florida within a goal.
The 'Blades have given up the first goal in eight of their nine home games and have yielded the first tally in 15 of their 22 total contests.
Florida's previous season-low for shots on goal was 25 before firing 22 shots on Friday.
The 'Blades have gone without a goal for a span of 159:00 over their last three home games.
The Stingrays are the only South Division team Florida has yet to earn a point against this season.
South Carolina has excelled in road games and improved to 12-1-1 in road tilts.
Florida hosts South Carolina for the final time this season on Saturday at 7 p.m.
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