Like most goalies, South Carolina’s Parker Milner doesn’t dwell on the last game or the last shot.
The former Boston College star just concerns himself with the next shot and the next game. It’s about the only way a goalie can keep his sanity.
Coming off a shutout in Game 3 Monday night, Milner was even better Tuesday night, stopping 36 shots to lead the Stingrays past Greenville, 6-1, in Game 4 of their Kelly Cup Playoff series before a crowd of 2,430 at the North Charleston Coliseum.
With the victory, the Stingrays tied the best-of-seven South Division semifinal series 2-2 headed into Game 5 Friday night back up in Greenville. Game 6 is set for Monday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
In two games in Greenville, Milner gave up a total of 10 goals in back-to-back blowout losses to the Swamp Rabbits.
“You just have to put those first two games out of your head or the season is over,” Milner said. “I knew I had to reset. I did my best to get a couple of good days of practice in and get back at it.”
A change of venue has benefited no player in the Stingrays lineup more than Milner, who in two games in the Lowcountry has given up just one goal on 52 total shots.
“If you’re going to make a run at a championship, it starts on the back end,” said Stingrays head coach Ryan Warsofsky. “He’s got that look in his eyes. He’s focused and ready right now. He’s like a pitcher throwing a no hitter, you just want to leave him alone. He’s bailing us out with some big saves and he’s leading the charge right now for sure.”
Special Teams Again
The Stingrays special teams came up with another solid performance in Game 4.
The Stingrays scored two power play goals and blanked the Swamp Rabbits five times with the man advantage. The Swamp Rabbits were zero for nine Monday night in Game 3 on the power play.
In the two games in the Lowcountry, the Stingrays are three of 10 on the power play and have not given up a goal on the penalty kill in 14 chances for the Swamp Rabbits.
“We had a meeting about that before Game 3 and talked about how important special teams are this time of year,” Warsofsky said. “We made some adjustments before Game 3, but we’re just working harder and executing better.”
Zajac, Stingrays. Known more for his playmaking ability, Zajac scored twice Tuesday night, including redirecting a Max Nicsastro shot in the third period.
Milner, Stingrays. After Game 3’s shutout, Milner was probably even better in Game 4, stopping all but one Swamp Rabbits shots.
“You can’t ask any more from Parker, he’s been a rock all year,” Zajac said. “The past two games, he’s just seeing the puck. He’s got good focus and he’s controlling the rebounds, which is a key.”
Steve Weinstein, Stingrays. The defenseman had another strong performance, finishing with two assists and take two shots on net. He also finished with a plus-two rating.
South Carolina defenseman Marcus Perrier has been suspended indefinitely pending a review and fined an undisclosed amount as a result of an altercation with Greenville captain Bretton Cameron in Game 3 Monday night.
Perrier was fined and suspended under ECHL rule No. 28 – supplementary discipline as a result of his actions at 10:58 of the third period.
Perrier missed Game 4 Tuesday night and could be suspended even longer pending a review by the league. Cameron missed Game 4 and is not expected to be back in the lineup for Game 5 Friday night in Greenville.
“We’re going to have to wait and see what the league decides,” Warsofsky said.
Max Nicastro, who was injured during Games 1 and 2, replaced Perrier in the lineup Tuesday night.
The Stingrays and Swamp Rabbits will meet again in Game 5 Friday night at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville beginning at 7 p.m.
Game 6 will be back at the North Charleston Coliseum Monday night at 7:05 p.m.