05/14/2009 - Joe Shetrom, South Carolina Stingrays
Cincinnati, OH – The South Carolina Stingrays scored four early goals, and were able to hold on late as they slipped by the Cincinnati Cyclones 4-3 in game three of their best-of-seven game series, now leading the series 3-0.
"We did a nice job late in the game of shutting down Cincinnati," said Head Coach Jared Bednar. "We knew this Cincinnati team wouldn't go quietly, and we expect more of the same on Friday."
The Rays would strike first in the opening period on a power play tally by Maxime Lacroix, his sixth of the playoffs. Brad Farynuk started the play by working the puck out from behind his own net. The pass went to Travis Morin who found Lacroix open in the far side circle for the one-timer. The goal came at 7:53, and would be the only goal of the period.
The second period would feature five times a much scoring as the first did. After a missed play behind the net by Cincinnati, Nikita Kashirsky fed a pass to Patrick Wellar who did the same to Trent Campbell. Campbell took the opportunity and fired it in past goalie Loic Lacasse and gave the Rays a 2-0 lead. The goal came at 2:31 and was Campbell's fourth of the playoffs. Kashirsky made it 3-0 Rays when he took a pass from Michael Dubuc and slipped it in the short side at 5:11. The goal was Kashirsky's fourth of the playoffs. The Rays were not done yet, as Zach Tarkir fired another bomb from the far-side circle past Lacasse, knocking him out of the game. The goal was Tarkir's fifth of the playoffs and was assisted by Pierre-Luc O'Brien and Campbell. The Cyclones would not go down easy, however, as Barret Ehgoetz and Kyle Rank scored past Jonathan Boutin before the end of the period to make it 4-2 going into the final frame.
Cincinnati kept the pressure on in the third period and drew to within one after Ehgoetz second goal of the night, a power play tally, came at 1:52 of the period. For the final 18 minutes however, the Rays stepped up defensively and Boutin took care of the rest as the Rays slipped by Cincinnati 4-3 in game three.
The winning goaltender was Boutin who stopped 28 of the 31 shots he faced. The losing goaltender was Lacasse who stopped 13 of the 17 shots he faced in 27:07. Ryan Nie, who came in to replace Lacasse, stopped all nine shots he faced in 32:15, but did not factor into the decision. The Rays went 2-7 on the power play while the Cyclones went 2-4 on the man advantage.
The Rays will be back in action on Friday night same bat time same bat channel, as they look to break out the brooms and sweep away the Cincinnati Cyclones to earn a trip to their third Kelly Cup Finals. Game time will be at 7:30. You can tune in to Sports Radio 1450 for all the action with the Benitos Pre-game show beginning at 7:15. Don't forget to head out to Centre ointe Bar Grill to watch the Rays live will all of your Stingrays friends.