The South Carolina Stingrays’ six-game winning streak came to a resounding end Tuesday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Greenville defenseman Mike Marcou had a goal and two assists and goalie Nathan Lieuwen stopped all 26 shots he faced to lead the Road Warriors past the Stingrays, 6-0, before a crowd of 1,702 at the North Charleston Coliseum.
The Stingrays lost for the first time since Nov. 23 and dropped to 13-13-2 (28 points). The Road Warriors (14-10-2, 30 points) snapped their four-game losing streak with the victory.
For two periods, the Stingrays matched the Road Warriors scoring chance for scoring chance, but were never able to figure out Lieuwen, who recorded his first professional shutout. Each team had 16 shots on goal after two periods and roughly the same amount of scoring opportunities.
The difference was Lieuwan and the Road Warriors being able to capitalize on their chances, while the Stingrays did not.
“We probably had 15 grade-A scoring chances in the game and didn’t execute when we had our chances,” said Stingrays coach Spencer Carbery. “The game could have very easily been 2-2 after the first two periods. We played pretty well for 40 minutes. We had plenty of chances to put the puck in the back of the net, but didn’t bear down and get the job done.”
Rookie goalie Adam Morrison had his second tough outing, giving up six goals on only 29 shots. But the blame wasn’t Morrison’s alone, Carbery said.
“We left Adam out to dry on a bunch of times, especially in the third period,” Carbery said. “It wasn’t all Adam’s fault. We certainly didn’t do him any favors. There were too many odd-man rushes.”
Lieuwen, who improved 9-7-1 on the season, looked confident in net throughout the game.
“He played well,” Carbery said. “He made a couple of nice saves early on, and we started to press as the game went on.”
The Stingrays won’t have to wait too long to seek revenge as the two teams play Friday night in Greenville.
“We’ve got to put this game behind us and move on,” Carbery said.
“We get these guys again on Friday. We’ll need a better effort. Our third period was unacceptable. We need to turn the page, learn from this game and come out ready to play on Friday.”
The Stingrays trailed 2-0 after two periods, but the Road Warriors erupted for four goals in the final 20 minutes.
Help could be on the way as the Stingrays signed Jeff Jakaitis, the 2012 ECHL Goalie of the Year.
Stingrays starting goalie, Ryan Zapolski, was called up to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, of the American Hockey League.
Zapolski, 26, leads the ECHL with a 1.57 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage in 14 appearances this season and stands fourth among league goaltenders with 10 wins.
Greenville 1 1 4—6
Stingrays 0 0 0—0
First Period: 1. G, Haines 3 (Connolly, Verreault), 6:04. Penalties: Wilson, G (boarding, fighting - major), 0:36; Bidlevskii, SC (fighting - major), 0:36; Wilson, G (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:54.
Second Period: 2. Gr, Marcou 4 (Vallerand, Piche), 9:22 (PP). Penalties: Fitzpatrick, SC (delay of game), 3:57; Quick, SC (high-sticking - double), 8:49; Reynolds, G (tripping), 12:08; Delisle,G (fighting - major), 15:57; Courtnall, SC (fighting - major), 15:57; Berkstresser, G (roughing), 19:02; Vallerand, G (boarding), 19:02; Beauregard, SC (roughing), 19:02; Vaughan, SC (10-minute misconduct), 19:02.
Third Period: 3. G, Cameron 2 (Baldwin, Marcou), 4:32 (PP). 4. G, Yogan 5 (Wong, Berkstresser), 6:20. 5. G, Johnston 2 (Marcou, Wilson), 7:29. 6. G, Wong 10 (Berkstresser, Johnston), 13:46. Penalties: Sackrison, SC (interference - major), 4:10; Verreault, G (double - roughing), 5:18; Rush, SC (double - roughing), 5:18; Cameron, G (fighting - major), 11:23; Vaughan, SC (fighting - major), 11:23.
Shots onGoal: Stingrays 10-6-10-26; Greenville: 11-5-13-29. Penalties: Stingrays 11-39; Greenville 10-29. Power Play: Stingrays 0 for 4; Greenville 2 for 4. Goalies: Stingrays – Adam Morrison (1-5-2) 29 shots, 23 saves. Greenville – Nathan Lieuwan (9-7-0) 26 shots, 26 saves. Att: 1,702.