GLENS FALLS, NY – Facing the prospect of going down 3-1 in the series South Carolina got just the start it needed. A fast start was a sign of things to come and propelled the Stingrays to a dominant 6-0 win to ties the series at 2-2.
South Carolina had the pressure on early as forward Austin Fyten was able to find Caleb Herbert in front who beat Ken Appleby for the early 1-0 lead.
From there it was a physical frame for both sides resulting in a total of nine penalties between the two teams. The Stingrays took advantage of their powerplay opportunity when Kelly Zajac picked up a rebound and fired the puck past the blocker of Appleby for the 2-0 lead at the 14:40 mark.
South Carolina started the second as they started the first by scoring a goal in the first two minutes. With the Thunder on the powerplay, Joe Devin intercepted a pass by Patch Alber who then fell down allowing Devin to walk in alone and score for the 3-0 lead.
The Stingrays special teams unit wasn’t done though as Alber was assessed a minor for tripping. A one-time slap shot from rookie defenseman Colton Saucerman off a feed from Spencer Humphries extended the lead to 4-0 at the 12:35 mark of the second period.
Considering how much of a penalty fest this series has been, not surprisingly Adirondack would be given two powerplay chances to get back in it. South Carolina and Mark Dekanich gave them nothing and were rewarded with another powerplay of their own. Stephan Vigier found the rebound of a Zajac shot take make it 5-0.
The Thunder looked to gain any sort of momentum they could and brought in backup goaltender Drew Fielding to start the third period. Unfortunately for Adirondack, Fielding would also fall victim to the South Carolina offensive onslaught. Stingrays playoff hero Joe Devin broke in two-on-one and blistered a wrist shot past Fielding for the 6-0 lead.
The Thunder couldn’t find any sort of answer and attempted to close out the game by sending a message. Scrums were aplenty in the game’s final minute with Trevor Gillies going after South Carolina irritant Ryan Lomberg and Spencer Humphries fighting Ryan Constant.
South Carolina went back to Mark Dekanich for his third consecutive start. It was a wise decision as he finished the night with a 30 save shutout.
The special teams were the difference tonight in a big way as South Carolina killed off a total of eleven powerplays and added a shorthanded goal. The powerplay was no slouch either, going three for four on the man advantage.
The Stingrays got multi point nights from Herbert, Saucerman,Zajac, Derek DeBlois, Devin and Humphries.
With the win for South Carolina, the series will be returning to North Charleston for game six. The series resumes on Saturday with another game in Glens Falls at 7 PM.