The South Carolina Stingrays finished their preseason slate with a 5-1 drubbing of the Alaska Aces before an announced crowd of 5,871 Thursday evening at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Mark your Calendars – the Stingrays open up the 2008-09 season at home against the Augusta Lynx on Saturday, October 18. The game will be at the North Charleston Coliseum starting at 7:05 p.m.
For the second straight night South Carolina hit paydirt first, with Travis Morin picking up a rebound to beat former Charlotte Checkers goaltender Chris Holt at 4:12 of the 1st period. The goal, assisted by Paul McIlveen and Keith Johnson, was Morin’s first of the preseason.
With a 90-second two-man advantage, Paul Kelly deposited his second of the preseason at the 10-minute mark of the 1st, making it 2-0 South Carolina. Morin earned the primary assist while Johnson garnered his second playmaker of the game.
Enjoying their third power play of the contest, Kelly propelled the visitors to a 3-0 lead, tipping a shot past Holt at 12:06 of the opening frame. No stranger to the scoresheet, Morin pocketed his third point of the night while rookie Johann Kroll, originally credited with the lamp-lighter, earned the second assist.
Derick Martin capped the first period scoring, blasting an attempt past Rays goalie Bobby Goepfert at 15:54. Corbin Schmidt and Mike Curry doled out assists as the Aces skated into the first interference down 3-1.
Replacing starter Holt at 11:17 of the second period, Alexandre Vincent allowed a goal on the first shot he faced, with Matt Scherer beating the Alaska netminder high on the glove side at 11:28. Morin and Kroll registered helpers as the Stingrays jumped out to a 4-1 advantage.
During the waning moments of the second stanza, Kelly completed his hat trick, firing the puck over Vincent’s glove hand at 19:28. The power-play marker, assisted by Scherer and defenseman Sasha Pokulok, elevated South Carolina to a four-goal cushion that would last the final twenty minutes of the contest.
Goepfert, who collected a pair of preseason wins for the Hershey Bears, earned the victory for the Stingrays with a 19-save effort.
Holt suffered the loss for Alaska with 10 saves while his replacement, Vincent, ended with 9 stops.
South Carolina opens the 2008-09 regular season on Saturday, Oct. 18 against the Augusta Lynx at the North Charleston Coliseum. Face-off is set for 7:05 pm.
South Carolina 3 2 0--5
Alaska 1 0 0--1
FIRST PERIOD – Scoring: 1, SC, Morin 1 (McIlveen, Johnson), 4:12. 2, SC, Kelly 2 (game-winner) (power-play) (Morin, Johnson), 10:00. 3, SC, Kelly 3 (power-play) (Morin, Kroll), 12:06. 4, AK, Martin 1 (power-play) (Schmidt, Curry), 15:54. Penalties: Dovgan, SC (roughing), 1:45; Goepfert, SC, (tripping), 6:40; Richards, AK (kneeing), 9:07; Martin, AK (holding), 9:37; Schmidt, AK (slashing), 11:17; Waldrop, AK (hooking), 13:34; McIlveen, SC (high-sticking), 15:04; Farynuk, SC (hooking), 17:41.
SECOND PERIOD – Scoring: 5, SC, Scherer 1 (Morin, Kroll), 11:28. 6, SC, Kelly 4 (power-play) (Scherer, Pokulok), 19:28. Penalties: Keith, AK (unsportsmanlike conduct, misconduct), 2:46; MacDermid, SC (interference), 8:03; Romfo, SC (interference), 15:19; AK bench, served by Thomey (too many men), 18:23.
THIRD PERIOD – Scoring: None. Penalties: Foreman, AK (hooking, unsportsmanlike conduct), 3:26; Shasby, AK (hooking), 4:15; Johnson, SC (fighting major), 9:17; Foreman, AK (fighting major), 9:17; Romfo, SC (slashing), 12:08; Pokulok, SC (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:11; Foreman, AK (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:11.
Notes: South Carolina finished 3-8 on the power-play, while Alaska ended at 1-7 … The Stingrays outshot the Aces 24-20 … Morin finished the two-game series with 6 points (1g, 5a) Johnson fought Alaska’s Jordan Foreman at 9:17 of the 3rd period … Brad Farynuk, Scherer and Morin served as alternate captains … 2008 ECHL All-Star Josh Soares, released Tuesday from the AHL’s Houston Aeros, did not play for Alaska … 3 Stars of the Game: (1) Goepfert, (2) Kelly, (3) Morin … Referee: Jason Nissen.
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