Stingrays open Kelly Cup playoffs against Wheeling

The South Carolina Stingrays will face the Wheeling Nailers in a best-of-seven ECHL Kelly Cup Eastern Conference quarterfinals series, the team announced Sunday night.

Kelly Cup Playoffs

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

Game 1 - Friday, Wheeling at South Carolina (7:05 p.m.)

Game 2 - Saturday, Wheeling at South Carolina (7:05 p.m.)

Game 3 - April 23, South Carolina at Wheeling (7 p.m.)

Game 4 - April 25, South Carolina at Wheeling (7 p.m.)

Game 5 - April 26, South Carolina at Wheeling (7 p.m., if necessary)

Game 6 - April 29, Wheeling at South Carolina (7:05 p.m., if necessary)

Game 7 - April 30, Wheeling at South Carolina (7:05 p.m., if necessary)

The series features a 2-3-2 format and begins at the North Charleston Coliseum with Game 1 on Friday, at 7:05 p.m. followed by Game 2 on Saturday, at 7:05 p.m.

The Stingrays beat the Nailers, 3-0, in their only meeting of the season back on Dec. 28 at the North Charleston Coliseum.

"I think we're two totally different teams from the last time we played Wheeling," said South Carolina Stingrays head coach Spencer Carbery. "I don't think there's too much we can take from the game back in December. Both teams were playing a little short-handed. They've got one of the top shutdown-defensemen in the league in Dustin Stevenson and some very good young skill guys up front. It's going to be a battle."

Stevenson, who won a Kelly Cup last season in Reading, played in 135 with the Stingrays from 2010-12.

The Stingrays are 9-8-1 all-time against the Nailers. This is the second postseason series between the Stingrays and Nailers. The two teams collided in the 2011 Eastern Conference quarterfinals with the Nailers taking the best-of-five series 3-1.

The 2014 Kelly Cup Playoffs is the 20th postseason appearance for the Stingrays, an ECHL record, seventh for the Nailers and 14 for the Nailers organization including the Wheeling Thunderbirds (1992-96) and Carolina/Winston-Salem Thunderbirds (1988-92). The Stingrays have 84 ECHL postseason wins, which ranks second in league history, 77 losses (ECHL record) in 161 games (ECHL record). The Nailers are 28-32 and 59-53 including the Wheeling Thunderbirds and Carolina/Winston-Salem.



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