NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charlotte Checkers moved into sole possession of the fifth and final playoff spot in the South Division by scoring one goal in each period to defeat the South Carolina Stingrays 3-1 before 3,333 fans at the North Charleston Coliseum.
“We can’t seem to buy a win,” South Carolina coach Jason Fitzsimmons said. “Goals are all of a sudden hard to come by. We have to find a way to get the job done. Our guys have to start elevating their game.”
Charlotte (29-20-3, 61 points) opened the score on the power play. Nathan Gillies beat goaltender Davis Parley with a shot from the right circle for his 13th goal of the season at 17:59 of the first period. Bryan Rodney and Ryan Constant garnered assists.
The Checkers made it 2-0 at 8:35 of the second period. Kenny Smith sent a great breakaway pass up the middle and onto the tape for Mark Lee, who put the puck past Parley for his 15th tally of the campaign.
South Carolina (26-21-7, 59 points) solved goaltender Chris Holt on the 25th shot of the game. Marc Busenburg netted his fifth goal of the year from Matt W. Reid and Nate Kiser at 9:21.
Bruce Graham put the game out of reach for Charlotte at 14:53 scoring a power play tally, his 29th goal of the season. Helpers went to Rodney and Kirk DeWaele.
South Carolina went 0-for-4 on the power play, while Charlotte converted on 2-of-5 opportunities. Stingrays outshot the Checkers 35-28.
The Stingrays travel to Pensacola, Florida for games against the Ice Pilots on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. ET and Sunday at 7:05 p.m. ET at the Pensacola Civic Center. Listen live to Mike Kelly, “Voice of the Stingrays” on ESPN Radio 910 The Team and online at www.stingrayshockey.com beginning at 7:50 p.m. with the Benito’s Pregame Show. Watch the game live on the web telecast for $6 each at www.stingrayshockey.com, courtesy of B2 Networks.
South Carolina’s next home game is at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6 against the Columbia Inferno at the North Charleston Coliseum. It’s Halligan’s Night, which offers a $10 ticket in any level, $2 beers and 2-for-1 hotdogs.
Don’t miss the fast-paced, action-packed, family affordable fun! Purchase your flex tickets today. You pick the games; you pocket the savings! For more information call (843) 744-2248 to speak to a ticket sales manager.
Individual tickets can be purchased at the North Charleston Coliseum box office, by calling Ticketmaster at (843) 554-6060 and online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Discounted groups tickets, birthday packages, Kids Club information and fundraiser opportunities are available by calling (843) 744-2248 or by visiting online at www.stingrayshockey.com. Stingrays Hockey – A Whole Lot Cooler!