TOLEDO, OH – The South Carolina Stingrays (40-21-4-1) clinched their spot in the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs as they defeated the Toledo Walleye (43-18-4-3) by a final score of 4-1 on Sunday evening at the Huntington Center.
Kevin O’Neil opened the scoring for the second straight night as he netted his 22nd goal of the season at the 9:02 mark of the first frame. O’Neil split a pair of defenders a lifted a shot over the glove of Sebastian Cossa for the 1-0 advantage.
Toledo tied the game late in the opening stanza as Derek Daschke tallied his first professional goal on a power play rebound. Tyler Wall stopped an initial attempt from TJ Hensick before Daschke flipped the second chance effort into the back of the net for the 1-1 contest.
The Stingrays regained their one-goal advantage with 8:53 remaining in the middle frame as Michael Kim slid a rebound past Cossa for the 2-1 lead. Cossa made an initial save on Baker Shore, over-sliding on the attempt and giving way for Kim’s eighth marker of the year.
Max Humitz doubled the lead nearly four and a half minutes later as he sniped a shot over the glove of Cossa for the 3-1 advantage. With the goal, Humitz extended his point streak to eight straight games and has tallied a point in all seven contests since joining the Stingrays.
Josh Wilkins extended the lead at the 2:49 mark of the third period as he stickhandled his way to the front of the net before shoveling a shot past Cossa for the 4-1 final. Wall turned back 23 of 24 shots as he picked up his eighth consecutive victory in net.
The Stingrays return to battle the in-state rivals, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Thursday, April 6th at 7:05 p.m.
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