(PR) North Charleston, SC – Jared DeMichiel stopped Ryan Ginand for his fifth consecutive shootout save just seconds after Samson Mahbod beat Shane Connelly in the shootout’s fourth round, pushing South Carolina past Trenton, 3-2, Saturday night at North Charleston Coliseum. The Devils have now lost all three games this season against the Stingrays, with all three losses coming by the score of 3-2, with Trenton surrendering 2-1 leads in the second period on all three occasions.
The Devils never trailed Saturday until the game’s conclusion, having taken their first of two one-goal leads when Ryan Hayes scored his sixth power-play goal of the season. Jeff Prough and Jeremy Akeson were credited with assists on Hayes’ game-opening score, 15:48 into the opening frame. Jeff Prough nearly made the score 2-0 in favor of Trenton early in the second period, but the would-be goal was waved off by referee Jason Rollins because of incidental contact. By not scoring a goal Saturday, Jeff Prough failed to earn his first-career, four-game goal scoring streak. But even though the referee’s decision momentarily prevented the Devils from making the score 2-0, Dan Charleston did make the score 2-0 by scoring from a near-impossible angle, from behind the goal line at 6:31 of the second on a bank shot off DeMichiel. The goal was Charleston’s second in the last two games.
Friday night’s offensive star, Rob Ricci spear-headed the Stingrays comeback, beating Shane Connelly on the rush eight seconds after Charleston had put the Devils ahead by two. Shane Connelly made 28 saves on 30 shots in regulation and overtime, but was saddled with the hard-luck loss against his former club in his first appearance since the Devils’ 7-3 loss at Elmira December 11.
Although it turned out that Ricci’s sixth goal in his last three games was the strike that altered the game’s momentum, the Devils were still in the lead until Jake Hauswirth tied the score by burying his fifth goal of the season, with 2:39 remaining in the middle period. Hauswirth’s power-play goal that came with five seconds remaining on a Dave Leaderer holding penalty was the first power-play goal given up by Trenton since December 26, snapping the Devils’ streak of 19 consecutive kills.
The Devils and Stingrays played 27:39 through overtime tied at 2-2, sending the teams to their second shootout against each other this season. While Connelly was brilliant in stopping South Carolina’s first three shooters, he was beaten by Samson Mahbod’s forehand to backhand fake in the fourth round, while DeMichiel stopped all five Trenton shooters without a blemish. With the win, the Stingrays are now 5-0-0-1 in their last six games. In defeat, the Devils drop to 13-15-0-3. Trenton has one more chance to salvage a win in the season series against South Carolina, as the teams conclude their head-to-head schedule with Sunday’s 4:00 p.m. faceoff at North Charleston Coliseum.