The South Carolina Stingrays held the Manchester Monarchs power play to 0-for-7 and got enough offense to win Game 4 and even the Eastern Conference Finals series at 2-2 with a 2-1 win Friday night at SNHU Arena.
Andrew Cherniwchan and Rob Flick scored for South Carolina while goaltender Parker Milner made 33 saves to earn his 10th victory in between the pipes for the Stingrays.
The game was scoreless at the end of the first with Manchester outshooting South Carolina 11-6. But the Rays responded in the second to get out in front and never relinquished the lead.
Cherniwchan’s sixth goal of the postseason put SC out in front 1-0 on a deflection off an initial shot by defenseman Max Nicastro at 11:20 of the middle period. The puck hit the forward’s skate in front of the net and moved through Manchester goaltender Sam Brittain to the back of the net. Flick earned the second assist on the play for his eighth helper of the playoffs.
With the goal, Cherniwchan has now registered a point in the last nine straight games for South Carolina and has 13 total points in the playoffs. The streak is tied with Domenic Monardo for the longest run during the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
The Stingrays extended their advantage at the start of the third period when Flick found a rebound at the left circle and wristed the puck to the top left corner of the cage to beat Brittain. Domenic Monardo had the lone assist on the goal, starting the play by carrying the puck in on the right wing before moving out in front to the team’s leading scorer.
Flick, who has scored in three straight games during the series, now has 10 goals in the postseason which is tied for second in the ECHL. His 18 total points in 15 playoff games are also second-best in the league.
The Monarchs got back within one at 13:59 of the third period on a goal by Quentin Shore, but the Stingrays did not allow anything else and secured the Game 4 victory.
Brittain also made some key stops once again for Manchester and finished with 21 saves in a losing effort. South Carolina’s power play was also held off the board, finishing the game 0-for-4. The Monarchs outshot the Stingrays 34-23 in the game.
South Carolina and Manchester are right back at it with Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals series taking place Saturday night at 6 p.m. at the SNHU Arena.