South Carolina Stingrays goalie Daren Machesney was down on the ice in the blue-painted crease, writhing in obvious pain.
A hundred feet away, Stingrays rookie goalie Philipp Grubauer looked on from the Stingrays' bench with concern.
Machesney, the reigning ECHL Goalie of the Week, had not given up a score in nearly two periods Saturday night against Trenton and was playing his best hockey of the season for the Stingrays.
When it became apparent that Machesney would not be able to continue, Grubauer calmly jumped over the boards and finished what Machesney had started.
Machesney and Grubauer combined to stop 31 shots, and Brett Flemming and Pierre-Luc O'Brien each scored to lead South Carolina past Trenton, 2-0, before a capacity crowd of 9,783 at the North Charleston Coliseum.
The Stingrays, who avenged Friday night's 3-1 loss to the Titans, improved to 25-17-2 (52 points) and own a share of second place in the ECHL's South Division. The Titans fell to 15-20-6 (36 points).
Machesney was hurt with less than a minute left in the second period with the Stingrays leading, 1-0, when Trenton forward Luke Pither landed on top of him during a scramble in front of the net.
"I heard something pop in my groin," Machesney said. "It hurts pretty badly right now. Not sure how bad it is."
Machesney had been on a roll of late, winning both starts last week and allowing just one goal. He was working on his second straight shutout before getting injured.
"It really is too bad for Daren because he'd been playing so well for us this month," O'Brien said. "He was really starting to find his groove, and you could tell he was playing with a lot of confidence. Hopefully, he's not out for long."
According to Stingrays trainer D.J. Church, though, Machesney will be out of the lineup for an "extended period of time."
"He'll get evaluated (today) and we'll go from there," Church said. "Obviously, it's a lower body injury. This isn't going to be a short-term injury. He'll be out more than a week."
Grubauer stopped all 11 shots he faced and seemed unfazed by his late substitution.
"I was relaxing on the bench watching (Machesney), and when he got hurt, I thought he was going to get back up and play," Grubauer said. "But once he rolled over, I knew I was probably going in. It's what I do. I prepare to play every game like I'm the starter."
Flemming gave the Stingrays a 1-0 lead with less than a minute left in the opening period with his slap shot from the blue line.
"They kind of pound it into your head around here about getting pucks to the net," said Flemming, who notched his second goal of the season. "I saw a shooting lane and took the shot. I think it deflected off of one of their guys in front."
One night after a lackluster performance in a 3-1 loss to the Titans, the Stingrays came out with much more intensity.
"We got some bodies into the lineup and everyone just thought it was going to happen for us," O'Brien said. "We didn't do any of the little things that win games. We were much better at that tonight."
--Stingrays forward Trent Campbell served the third and final game of his three-game suspension for a hit on Florida's David Rutherford last week.
--Campbell is expected to be back in the lineup today against Elmira.
--Forward Matt Pope and defenseman Phil Oreskovic were reassigned to the Stingrays from Hershey, of the American Hockey League.
--Forward Sean Dolan (Charlotte) is currently called up to the American Hockey League.
--Billy Ryan (lower body) and Chris Higgins (upper body) were out of the lineup with injuries.
--The Stingrays are 13-8-1 at home and 12-9-1 on the road this season.
First Period: 1. SC, Flemming 2 (Kroll, Lacroix), 19:02. Penalties: Oreskovic, SC (interference), :10; Lacroix, SC (slashing), 5:59; Bordson, T (roughing), 10:59; Mallaro, T (hooking), 14:14; Bordson, T (holding the stick), 18;54.
Second Period: No goals. Penalties:Silva, T (fighting), 6:37; Pereira, SC (fighting), 6:37; Bordson, T (roughing) 11:10; Stevenson, SC (roughing), 11:10; Bordson, T (roughing), 15:46; Pither, T (roughing), 19:21; Oreskovic, SC (10-minute misconduct), 20:00. Third Period: 2. SC, O'Brien 19 (unassisted), 19:14. Penalties:de Kastrozza, SC (high sticking) 5:21; Stewart, SC (slashing), 9:36.
Shots on Goal: Stingrays 17-12-3-32; Trenton: 13-9-9-31. Penalties: Stingrays 7-25; Trenton 7-17. Power Play: Stingrays 1 for 5; Trenton 0 for 4. Goalies: Stingrays - Daren Machesney (9-9-0) 21 shots, 21 saves. Philipp Grubauer (16-8-2) 10 shots, 10 saves. Trenton - Dave Caruso (11-13-5) 31 shots, 30 saves. Att: 9,783.
Elmira at South Carolina
When: Today, 4 p.m.
Where: North Charleston Coliseum