History is not of the side of the South Carolina Stingrays.
Only once in ECHL playoff history has a team come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series. In 2010, Cincinnati rallied from a 3-0 hole to win four straight games in the American Conference finals. The Cyclones eventually went on to win the Kelly Cup title, beating Idaho in five games.
The Stingrays face a similar task beginning Friday night as they take on Wheeling in Game 4 of their best-of-seven Kelly Cup Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, W.Va.
South Carolina trails Wheeling, 3-0, in the series. A loss Friday in Game 4 and the Stingrays will be eliminated from the playoffs in the opening round for the second straight season. Game 5, if needed, would be played Saturday night beginning at 7 p.m. at WesBanco Arena.
"It can be done, but we're not worried about winning the series or even getting to a Game 5, we just need to win Game 4," said Stingrays coach Spencer Carbery. "Let's start with a win in Game 4 and then we can worry about what happens after that. I can tell you, we're not going to go away quietly. We're going to battle until the final buzzer."
Coming off their best performance of the series in Game 3, a 1-0 loss on Wednesday, Carbery said the team is still confident they can beat the Nailers.
"The problem is not us generating scoring chances, the problem has been with us putting the puck in the back of the net," Carbery said. "It just shows you how little the margin of error is during the playoffs. The key to winning one-goal games in the playoffs is getting those big saves or big goals in those crucial moments."
Wheeling goalie Mike Condon has seen to that. Condon, a rookie, has allowed just two goals the entire series and has two shutouts. Condon led the league with six shutouts during the regular season and has yet to lose in the month of April in seven games.
"He's been the difference in the series, no question," Carbery said. "I'm not sure he's in our heads. You'd have to ask the players. We did a better job of disrupting what he likes to do in Game 3 and we've got to continue that as the series moves forward."