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Stingrays Take Series Lead on 4-3 Win Over Everblades

May 1, 2009 - ECHL (ECHL) - South Carolina Stingrays News Release

North Charleston, SC - The South Carolina Stingrays took a 4-1 lead in the third period and were able to hold on to the lead and defeat the Florida Everblades 4-3 in game three of their best-of-seven game series, taking a 2-1 series lead.

"I was really proud of the guys tonight," said Assistant Coach Cail MacLean. "Defensively we played well all night, and we were able to capitalize on the chances that we had."

The Rays got things started off on the right foot, scoring a pair of goals in the first period of play. At 12:10, after failing to score on a five-on-three, the Rays found the back of the net on a five-on-four, with Keith Johnson getting his fourth goal of the playoffs. The goal was tipped in by Johnson off a shot by Johann Kroll from the point. The goal, that gave the Rays the 1-0 lead, was assisted by Kroll and Sasha Pokulok. South Carolina built on their momentum by getting another tally just 1:06 later. After Brad Farynuk found Nikita Kashirsky on a home run pass, he tried to work it in on the breakaway. Although he was not able to score, he drew a penalty on the play, and with the extra attacker on the ice, Kashirsky fired a shot from the far side circle that slipped by goaltender David Leggio. The goal was assisted by Farynuk and Zach Tarkir and came at 13:16 giving the Rays a 2-0 lead heading into the second period of play.

The Florida Everblades got on the board in the second period on a power play goal by Ross Carlson, his fifth of the playoff at 9:37 to cut the lead in half at 2-1, but the Rays were able to respond. At 13:42, while on the power play once again, the Rays struck again to extend their lead to two goals before the period came to a close. Tarkir fired a shot from the far side point which tipped off of an Everblade's defenseman and past Leggio. The goal was Tarkir's third of the playoffs and was assisted by Pierre-Luc O'Brien and Trent Campbell and made it 3-1 heading into the third period.

Jeff Corey used his speed to carve through the Florida defense to give the Rays the three goal lead in the third period. The goal was Corey's third of the playoffs and was assisted by Patrick Wellar and Spencer Carbery at 7:02 and made the score 4-1. The Everblades had some life left in them, however, as they found the back of the net twice more, including one with the extra attacker on, but could not get the equalizer before time expired with the Rays getting the 4-3 win, and taking a 2-1 lead in the series.

The winning goaltender was James Reimer who stopped 26 of the 29 shots he faced. The losing goaltender was Leggio who stopped 16 of the 20 shots he faced. The Rays went 2-4 on the power play while Florida went 2-5 on the man advantage.

The Rays will be back in action on tomorrow night, as they play game four of this best-of-seven game series against the Florida Everblades, looking to take a 3-1 series lead. Game time will be at 7:05. If you can't make it out to the game, you can catch all the action by tuning in to ESPN Radio 910 the TEAM with the Benitos Pre-game show beginning at 6:50.

Florida Everblades 3 at South Carolina Stingrays 4 - Status: Final May 1, 2009 - North Charleston Coliseum

Florida 0 1 2 - 3 South Carolina 2 1 1 - 4

1st Period-1, South Carolina, Johnson 4 (Kroll, Pokulok), 12:10 (pp). 2, South Carolina, Kashirsky 2 (Farynuk, Tarkir), 13:16. Penalties-Roy Fla (hooking), 2:22; Lee Fla (hooking), 10:00; Carlson Fla (high-sticking), 11:28; Kroll Sc (high-sticking), 14:04.

2nd Period-3, Florida, Carlson 5 (Tifu, Sweetland), 9:37 (pp). 4, South Carolina, Tarkir 3 (O'Brien, Campbell), 13:42 (pp). Penalties-Tarkir Sc (slashing ), 9:13; Herauf Fla (interference), 12:50; Carbery Sc (hooking), 17:34.

3rd Period-5, South Carolina, Corey 3 (Wellar, Carbery), 7:02. 6, Florida, Roy 2 (Metcalf, Carlson), 12:23 (pp). 7, Florida, Carlson 6 (Gajic, Paiement), 19:28. Penalties-Scherer Sc (boarding), 9:51; Farynuk Sc (tripping), 10:42; Carbery Sc (unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00.

Shots on Goal-Florida 6-13-10-29. South Carolina 11-6-3-20. Power-play opportunities-Florida 2 of 5; South Carolina 2 of 4. Goalies-Florida, Leggio 5-1-2-0 (20 shots-16 saves). South Carolina, Reimer 1-1-0-0 (29 shots-26 saves). A-2,625 Referees-Francis Charron (7). Linesmen-Mike Hamilton (80), Paul Reid (97).

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