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Toys Fly But Stingrays Overpower By Admirals

Friday, December 16th
Toys Fly But Stingrays Overpower By Admirals

NORFOLK, VA. - The South Carolina Stingrays (12-9-1-1) put up a half-dozen on Friday, paving their way to a 6-3 victory over the Norfolk Admirals (4-17-4-0).

Stingrays defenseman Steve Weinstein opened the scoring just 7:22 into the contest, firing a rebound on his backhand that squeaked through Brandon Anderson, who was making his second consecutive start for the Admirals. Forward Joe Devin was drifting into the attacking end and as he approached the corner, he opted to sling one off the pads of the Norfolk netminder, who then kicked it to the slot area where Weinstein would beat two Admirals before depositing it home.

Seven minutes later though the home team was able to knot the score at 1-1 and cause the chaos of stuffed animals onto the Norfolk Scope ice. With Marcus Perrier in the box for interference, Paul Rodrigues was able to beat Stingrays starter Parker Milner on his blocker side with a one-timer that was sent in his direction from Jaedon Descheneau. All of the toys that were flung onto the ice will be donated to Toys for Tots.

After Rodrigues' tally concluded the scoring in the first period, the two sides went on to exchange five alternating goals in the second period for the second straight game. The visiting team scored the first of five just 50 seconds into the frame, coming off of a blast from the point by Max Nicastro. Weinstein picked up his second point of the night by setting up his defensive partner from the right to left on the blue line.

Par to the course the Admirals answered back with Josh Brittain snapping his 20+ game goal streak. The captain found the back of the net after defenseman Mikael Tam had jumped up in the play and threw a shot towards the front, ricocheting off of Ben Murphy's skate and right in #13's lap. Brittain's last goal came on opening night, the team's lone strike against the Kalamazoo Wings in a 3-1 defeat.

South Carolina's third goal of the night came from leading scorer Kelly Zajac on an odd man rush. Derek DeBlois came firing up the near-side boards, exchanging multiple passes with Zajac and eventually outlasting Admirals defenseman Gabriel Verpaelst before centering a feed for Zajac, which he would slam after a nifty move to his forehand that beat a down-and-out Anderson. That would be the final straw for Anderson, who was yanked and replaced by Connor Knapp.

12:08 into the second Ben Murphy earned his first as an Admiral, redirecting a drive from Mike Krieg at the blue line. After newcomer Dmitrii Sergeev dangled his way around a defender, the puck scattered into the corner. Josh Brittain received the loose change and shifted it from low-to-high, where Krieg snapped one on that the Massachusetts native was able to change direction of and past Milner.

Before the period concluded though the Stingrays were able to regain the lead, 4-3. Similar to the Admirals third mark, a shot from the point, off the tape of Wade Epp, was tipped by Patrick Gaul and past a newly entered Knapp. It was Gaul's fourth of the season and the fourth of the night for South Carolina.

There were only two tallies in the third and both were in favor of the visiting team, polishing their 6-3 victory. Just as Alex Pompeo exited the penalty box for a delay of game infraction, the Stingrays, who had established their setup in the Norfolk zone because Brodie Dupont was still in the box for slashing, were able to beat Knapp from captain Joe Devin. Zajac earned his 16th assist of the season on the power play goal.

Lastly, an empty net goal from Rob Flick was the nail in the coffin, coming with just 32 seconds left. The goal now gives Flick nine on the season.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow night at Norfolk Scope Arena in a decisive game three of the series. Tickets are available now at Ticketmaster.com and at the Norfolk Scope Arena box office. For more information on the team, be sure to visit norfolkadmirals.com, as well as following the team on all major social media platforms.Box Score

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