Defenseman Luka Vidmar and forward Jack Downing buried goals for the South Carolina Stingarys (0-2), but the Wheeling Nailers (2-0) prevailed 3-2 in overtime of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the North Charleston Coliseum Saturday night. The Stingrays trail the best-of-seven series 2-0.
The Stingrays kicked off the scoring late in the first period when Vidmar rifled a shot over the glove of Nailers goaltender Mike Condon(W, 36 saves on 38 shots) from the right-wing circle. Forwards Wayne Simpson and Igor Gongalsky added assists. Heading into the first intermission, the Stingrays peppered Condon with 17 shots to the Nailers’ nine on keeper Pheonix Copley (L, 36 saves on 39 shots).
Nailers forward Denver Manderson knotted up the contest on the power play 3:16 into the second period, but 13 seconds later Downing reclaimed the lead for the Stingrays beating Condon under the blocker from the left faceoff circle with help from forwardsNick Larson and Jordan Owens.
Forward Chaz Johnson tied the game back up in the third period with a man-advantage marker at 8:01 to force overtime. In the extra session, Nailers forward Tom Kuhnhackl buried the game-winning goal at 9:53 lifting the puck over the glove of Copley from the left-wing circle. The Stingrays finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play while the Nailers went 2-for-6.
The two teams move to WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia for Game 3 on Wednesday, April 23 and Game 4 on Friday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m. Game 5 (if necessary) will take place on Saturday, April 26 at 7:05 p.m.