One night after South Carolina's victory over Greenville, Stingrays coach Spencer Carbery expected the Road Warriors to come out with a better effort Saturday night.
Carbery warned the Stingrays during his pre-game speech that they would have to match the Road Warriors' energy level to be able to compete.
That never happened.
Michael St. Croix scored a goal and added an assist, and Jeff Malcolm stopped 25 shots to lead Greenville past South Carolina, 4-1, before a crowd of 4,688 at the North Charleston Coliseum.
The Stingrays, who had their four-game winning streak snapped with the loss, fell to 30-11-3 (63 points), but remained in first place in the ECHL Eastern Conference. The Road Warriors improved to 22-19-5 (49 points).
After an embarrassing five-goal loss to the Stingrays on Friday night, the Road Warriors came out with a much more inspired effort against their in-state rival. The Stingrays were never able to match the Road Warriors' energy level or execution.
"We knew that Greenville would be an angry hockey team, and they'd have some jump," Carbery said. "They came out with more energy than we did, or more energy than they did last night, and we didn't match it. They just completely out-executed us. We couldn't make a pass in any of the zones. We turned the puck over all night."
One of the issues for the Stingrays was the absence of newly acquired forward Dale Mitchell. Mitchell recorded a six-point night, including a hat trick, in his Stingrays debut Friday night in the Stingrays victory. Mitchell suffered a hand injury during Friday night's win and was unable to play Saturday. His status for Sunday's game against Greenville is uncertain.
"Not having Dale in the lineup wasn't the reason we lost this hockey game," Carbery said. "We just didn't execute."
It also didn't help that Chad Painchaud, who is second on the Stingrays in scoring, left the game after the first period and did not return. He is expected to miss Sunday's game in Greenville.
Greenville 0 2 2-4
Stingrays 0 1 0-1
First Period: No goals. Penalties: Sparks, SC (tripping), 2:35; Nicholls, G (tripping), 15:13.
Second Period: 1. G, Rowe 12 (Jean), 10:28. 2. G, Marcou 7 (Johnston, St. Croix), 14:28 (PP). 3. SC, Rodrigues 5 (Greiner), 18:01. Penalties: Cameron, G (interference on the goalkeeper), 14:17; Collins, SC (double - roughing), 14:17; Langdon, SC (delay of game), 15:38.
Third Period: 4. G, St. Croix 8 (unassisted) 1:01. 5. G, Arnold 13 (Berkstresser), 19:43. Penalties: Rodrigues, SC (roughing), 15:29; Jean, G (roughing, fighting - major), 17:01; Gongalsky, SC (fighting - major), 17:01.
Shots on Goal: Stingrays 3-10-13-26; Greenville: 9-16-10-35. Penalties: Stingrays 6-15; Greenville 4-11. Power Play: Stingrays 0 for 2; Greenville 1 for 4. Goalies: Stingrays -.Jeff Jakaitis (23-5-3) 35 shots, 31 saves. Greenville - Jeff Malcolm (7-5-2) 26 shots, 25 saves. Att: 4,688.