VIDEO: Late rally falls short as Kalamazoo wins game 3, 5-3

KALAMAZOO, MI – The South Carolina Stingrays (2-1) fired 41 shots, while Nick Jones, Brett Cameron and Joe Devin scored, but the Kalamazoo Wings (1-2) got strong goaltending from Joel Martin to earn a 5-3 victory in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series on Monday night at Wings Event Center. The remainder of the series shifts to North Charleston with Game 4 on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. The Stingrays lead the best-of-seven series, 2-1. 

After being held off the scoreboard in the first period, Kalamazoo would score three times in the second period, including twice on the power play, to take a 3-2 lead. The scoring started just 1:01 into the second period on a goal by Justin Kovacs. South Carolina netminder Mark Dekanich was unable to get to his feet after being knocked down, and Kovacs slid a shot past the sprawled goaltender on the power play to tie the game, 1-1.

Zack Phillips would give Kalamazoo its first lead of the evening, beating Dekanich off the face-off with a wrist shot at 6:03 to make it 2-1. David Gilbert assisted to give Kalamazoo a brief lead. 

South Carolina’s Brett Cameron would score his third goal of the playoffs, lifting the stick of Cory Pritz and taking the puck away from the Kalamazoo defender directly in front of the net. Cameron collected the puck and walked around Martin to tie the game, 2-2 at 11:06. 

The Wings would respond, adding an Alexandre Mallet goal on the power play at 14:40. A Ludwig Blomstrand shot was blocked, but the puck popped right to Mallet who beat Dekanich on the right side of the net to make it 3-2.

South Carolina would press in the third period, outshooting Kalamazoo 18-4, but Kovacs scored to add the Kalamazoo lead at 11:31 to make it 4-2, sliding a shot under Dekanich’s pad from the crease.

Devin would cut the lead for South Carolina with only 3:01 to play, beating Martin over the blocker on a pass from behind the net from Derek DeBlois to make it 4-3. South Carolina would pull Dekanich for the extra attacker and try to tie the game, but Phillips would add his second goal of the game for Kalamazoo, scoring into the empty net at 19:34 to seal the win.

The Stingrays outshot Kalamazoo 18-4 in the third period and 41-22 on the evening. Dating back to the regular season, this was the Stingrays’ first loss in regulation since February 28.

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