Estero, FL –Rob Ricci recorded a goal and an assist and Joe Finley added two assists asthe South Carolina Stingrays (36-29-3-3) defeated the Florida Everblades (37-30-1-3) 5-4 Friday night at Germain Arena.
The Stingrays kicked off the scoring 1:09 into the first period when defenseman Nick Tabisz buried his first professional goal past the right pad of Everblades goaltender Mike Zacharias from the bottom of the left-wing circle. Forward Chase Langeraap made it a 2-0 Stingrays lead at 9:51 from forwards Sean Dolan and Tommy Goebel. The Everblades cut the lead in half at 13:32 when defenseman Bobby Raymond snuck a shot under the blocker of Stingrays keeper Shane Owen. Forwards Tyler Helfrich and Ross Carlson earned assists.
Forward Trent Campbell reclaimed a two-goal lead for the Stingrays at 4:42 of the second frame from Goebel. Ricci made it 4-1 at 11:55 on a breakaway from Finley and forward Joe Cucci. Stingrays forward Ryan Del Monte added a late tally beating Zacharias between the legs from the top of the left-wing circle at 18:41 from Ricci and Finley.
The Everblades responded with three third-period goals to pull the contest within one. Forward Alex Imbeault registered his 36 goal of the season at 4:28. Forward Scott Pitt received the lone assist. Seconds later, forward Brad Snetsinger lifted a shot over the right shoulder of Owen off a pass from defenseman Elgin Reid at 4:54. Reid potted a goal of his own at 15:05 from Imbeault and Carlson. With defenseman Patrick Cullity in the penalty box for tripping and the Florida net empty, the Stingrays killed off a later Everblades power play to preserve the win.
Owen snatched the victory stopping 25 of 29 Everblades shots. Zacharias suffered the loss kicking away 13 of 18 Stingrays opportunites. The Stingrays ended the night 0-for-4 on the power play while the Everblades went 0-for-3.
The Stingrays wrap up the regular season tomorrow, Saturday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. against the Everblades at Germain Arena. Catch all the action live on ESPN Radio 910. Visit www.stingrayshockey.com for the latest news on the 2011 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Ticket packages for the 2011-12 season are on sale now for as low as $5 a month! Call the Stingrays Office at (843) 744-2248 or click here for more information. Become a fan of the Stingrays on Facebook at Facebook.com/SCStingraysHockey. Stingrays Hockey – It’s More Than Just a Game.