South Carolina Stingrays coach Spencer Carbery liked what he saw for more than 53 minutes against Kalamazoo on Saturday night.
The final seven minutes, well, that wasn’t so good.
Kalamazoo scored three late goals and Riley Gill stopped 19 of 20 shots to lead the K-Wings past South Carolina, 4-1, in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich.
The K-Wings lead the best-of-7 series, 2-0, as the series shifts to the Lowcountry for Game 3 on Wednesday night at the North Charleston Coliseum at 7 p.m.
After giving up a season-high six goals Friday in Game 1, Carbery wanted the Rays to concentrate more of their effort inside the defensive zone.
“We had a much better defensive effort (Saturday),” Carbery said. “But playing well defensively for 50 minutes isn’t going to win in the playoffs. Right now, we’re just not committed to doing the little things that win hockey games.”
Rookie goalie Rob Madore rebounded from a sub-par performance in Game 1 to stop 27 of the first 29 shots he faced.
“I thought Rob played well for us, gave us a chance to win,” Carbery said.
The same can’t be said for the Stingrays offense, which mustered just 20 shots.
“Our go-to guys are just not getting the job done,” Carbery said. “We’re not executing inside our offensive zone and that needs to change or this is going to be a short series.”
South Carolina 1 0 0—1 Kalamazoo 1 0 3—4
1st Period: 1. SC, Higgins 1 (Oreskovic, Lacroix), 3:34. 2. K, Bootland 3 (Daavettila, Ftorek), 13:22. Penalties: Ryan SC (head-butting (attempt) - double), 5:17; Sirota, K (roughing), 5:17; Stewart, SC (roughing), 9:01; Cherniwchan Sc (elbowing), 12:38; Stewart, SC (interference), 17:47.
2nd Period: No Scoring. Penalties: Charlebois, K (tripping), 0:54; Gill, K (delay of game - restricted area /trapeziod), 1:39; Bootland Kal (tripping), 6:24.
3rd Period: 3. K, Helminen 3 (Sirota, Ftorek), 13:35. 4. K, Kattelus 1 (Charlebois), 17:01. 5. K, Sirota 5 (Karlander), 19:20. Penalties: Scherer, SC (tripping), 6:56; Stewart, SC (fighting - major), 19:42; Archibald, K (fighting - major), 19:42; Oreskovic, SC (fighting - major), 19:50; Young, K (fighting - major), 19:50.
Shots on Goal: South Carolina 7-6-7-20. Kalamazoo 18-6-8-32. Penalties: South Carolina 8-22; Kalamazoo 6-18. Power Play: South Carolina 0 of 3; Kalamazoo 1 of 5. Goalies: South Carolina, Madore (2-2-0) 31 shots 28 saves. Kalamazoo, Gill (5-1-0) 20 shots, 19 saves).