Stingrays Weekly Report: May 1, 2023
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays trail the Florida Everblades 3-2 in the opening round of the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs after splitting four games last week. Tonight, the Stingrays look to stave off elimination on home ice and force a potential game 7 this Wednesday at the North Charleston Coliseum.
DIVISIONAL SEMIFINALS: Florida Leads 3-2
LAST WEEK: 2-2-0-0
MONDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 4, FLORIDA EVERBLADES 0
(North Charleston Coliseum – North Charleston, SC)
The Stingrays scored early as Kevin O’Neil netted his first professional playoff goal at the 3:42 mark of the opening stanza while on the man advantage. Ryan Scarfo added a tally with 5:11 left in the first period before Ty Thorpe tripled the lead at the end of the first frame while on the power play. Florida pulled their netminder with roughly five minutes left in regulation, leaving an open net for Lawton Courtnall to guide the puck into the back of the net for a 4-0 final. Clay Stevenson turned back 27 shots as he earned his fourth shutout of the season.
WEDNESDAY: FLORIDA EVERBLADES 4, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 3 (OT)
(Hertz Arena – Estero, FL)
Florida struck first as Sean Josling tallied his third power play goal of the series for the 1-0 lead in the opening frame. Chaz Reddekopp tied the contest nearly two and a half minutes later with his first goal of the postseason. The Everblades netted a pair of goals 40 seconds apart in the second period that was answered by Jarid Lukosevicius’ first marker of the night. Late in regulation, the Stingrays pulled Clay Stevenson for the extra attacker as Lukosevicius buried his second of the contest to force overtime. Florida netted the overtime winner at the 5:23 mark of the extra frame to take a 2-1 series lead.
FRIDAY: SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 4, FLORIDA EVERBLADES 2
(Hertz Arena – Estero, FL)
Florida scored first as Oliver Chau netted a tally at the 2:20 mark of the first period. Jarid Lukosevicius responded with his first goal of the contest 1:02 later before Josh Wilkins gave the Stingrays a lead on the power play only four minutes into the opening frame. Following a scoreless second period, the Everblades tied the game 43 seconds into the final stanza on Sean Josling’s fourth goal of the series. Lukosevicius went to work again, sniping a shot past Cam Johnson for the 3-2 lead with less than 10 minutes left in regulation. Anthony Del Gaizo iced the game late on an empty netter as Clay Stevenson turned back 34 shots in the 4-2 win.
SATURDAY: FLORIDA EVERBLADES 4, SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS 0
(Hertz Arena – Estero, FL)
The Everblades took an early lead on Blake Winiecki’s first point of the series at the 11:05 mark of the opening stanza. Florida added a power play goal late in the second frame and another on the man advantage midway through the third period for the 3-0 lead. Winiecki’s second marker of the contest iced the game late in regulation as the Stingrays fell by a final score of 4-0.
Monday, May 1: Game 6 vs. Florida Everblades, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum)
Wednesday, May 3: Game 7 vs. Florida Everblades, 7:05 p.m. (North Charleston Coliseum) *
Video Coverage: FloHockey; Radio Coverage: Stingrays Broadcast Network & Caps Radio 24/7
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
The Stingrays have done well to open the month of May and are even better on the very first day. South Carolina is a perfect 4-0 when playing games on May 1st all-time. On May 1st, 2001, the Stingrays hosted the Mobile Mysticks at the North Charleston Coliseum, where they defeated them by a score of 3-2. The Stingrays would go and win the Kelly Cup finals that season. The Stingrays also picked up a win on May 1st, 2009, when they defeated the Florida Everblades by the score of 2-1 at home, eventually winning the series and adding another Kelly Cup Championship that season. The last two times the Stingrays won on May 1st, they also beat the Florida Everblades by scores of 6-3 in 2015, and 1-0 in 2017. In both of those seasons, the Stingrays would go on to make the Kelly Cup finals again.
The Stingrays are looking for a bit of repeat magic this week as they return home, trailing the series 3-2. During the 2021 Kelly Cup playoffs, South Carolina squared off against the Florida Everblades in the opening round where they went down 2-1 in a best-of-five series. The Stingrays wound up winning each of the next two contests and won the series, reaching the Kelly Cup finals once again two rounds later. The Stingrays have beaten the Everblades in each of the last four series they have played against one another and are looking to continue the streak with a chance to tie the series tonight at home. Following the 2021 run, South Carolina is 28-23 all-time in elimination games.
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