North Charleston, SC – Jonathan Boutin returned to the pipes for the South Carolina Stingrays, making 26 saves to help them sweep the Mississippi Sea Wolves in their three game series, 4-2.
“I thought the first period was our best of the weekend,” said Head Coach Jared Bednar. “I wasn’t in love with the way we played after that, but I do think this team is starting to come together at the right time.”
The Rays began the night with another good defensive period and, like the two games before it, went to the first intermission up by a 1-0 score. The lone goal in the period belonged to Spencer Carbery, his 16th tally of the year. The goal came after Nikita Kashirsky brought the puck in the zone on a two on one with Carbery and fed a perfect pass with Carbery hammering in to the open net. The goal came at 3:54 and was assisted by Kashirsky and Matt Scherer.
Defense was thrown out the window in the second period as both teams combined for five goals in the period. At 1:06 it was Travis Morin getting on the board for his 23rd goal of the year. With the goal, Morin becomes the first player to record back to back 80 point seasons since Dave Seitz in 01-02 and 02-03 seasons. The goal was assisted by Lyon Messier and Keith Johnson to make the score 2-0. Just one minute later, Mississippi got on the board on Mark Rooneem’s 12th goal of the year to cut the lead in half. The one goal game would not last long, as the Rays increased their lead to two once again on Scherer’s 11th goal of the year. The goal came at 8:18 and was assisted by Carbery and Scott Romfo. Rooneem got in on the action once again when he got his second goal of the game, and his 13th of the year, from Ryan Menei and Jason Tejchma. The goal was Rooneem’s seventh against the Rays this season. Following the goal South Carolina ended up on the penalty kill but Pierre-Luc O’Brien made it worth while. O’Brien broke free from neutral ice and raced into the zone, backhanding a shot past John Murray and giving the Rays a 4-2 lead going into the third period. The goal was the 16th short handed goal of the year for the Rays, second most in the ECHL.
Order was restored defensively in the third period as neither team was able to get on the scoreboard. The Rays did have to kill off three penalties in the period, but the short handed unit, along with goaltender Jonathan Boutin, sealed the victory for the Stingrays, 4-2.
The winning goaltender was Boutin who stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced. The losing goaltender was John Murray who stopped 36 of the 40 shots he faced. The Rays went 0-2 on the power play while killing off all five short handed situations they faced. The Rays have not lost in regulation in eight straight games going 7-0-0-1 in that time.
The Rays will be back in action on Friday night, when they travel to Duluth, GA to take on the Gwinnett Gladiators. Game time will be at 7:35. You can tune in to ESPN Radio 910 the Team for all the action starting with the Benitos Pre-game show beginning at 7:20. And don’t forget, the final Stingrays home game of the regular season is next week on Sunday, March 29th. It’s Fan Appreciation Night at the North Charleston Coliseum; come support the Rays as they prepare for the Kelly Cup Playoffs!! For ticket information call the Stingrays office at 744-2248.
Mississippi Sea Wolves 2 at South Carolina Stingrays 4 - Status: Final
Mar 22, 2009 - North Charleston Coliseum
Mississippi 0 2 0 - 2
South Carolina 1 3 0 - 4
1st Period-1, South Carolina, Carbery 16 (Kashirsky, Scherer), 3:54. Penalties-Brennan Sc (boarding), 1:13; Frechette Mis (roughing), 14:47.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Messier Sc (hooking), 7:04; Brennan Sc (interference on the goalkeeper), 10:30; Frechette Mis (roughing), 13:10; Brennan Sc (roughing, roughing), 13:10.
Shots on Goal-Mississippi 5-15-8-28. South Carolina 14-15-11-40.
Power-play opportunities-Mississippi 0 of 5; South Carolina 0 of 2.
Goalies-Mississippi, Murray 13-10-2-1 (40 shots-36 saves). South Carolina, Boutin 21-9-1-2 (28 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Steve Patafie (29).
Linesmen-David Jones (11), Rob Montepare (62).