Flick returns to Stingrays, leads team to overtime win
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Rob Flick was welcomed back to the South Carolina Stingrays (40-28-3-1) with open arms Saturday night as he factored in all four of his team’s goals in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones (36-29-6-1) at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Flick finished with two goals and two assists, while his linemates Andrew Cherniwchan (two assists) and Domenic Monardo (one goal, one assist) also had multi-point efforts in South Carolina’s 40th win of the season.
The Stingrays will be the No. 3 seed in the South Division Kelly Cup Playoffs and will face the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in the opening round of the postseason this week.
Goaltender Adam Carlson earned his ninth victory of his rookie season, making 24 saves in the contest for South Carolina.
Flick got the scoring started and gave the Rays a 1-0 lead at 11:26 of the first period with his 30th goal of the year. The forward took a quick pass from Monardo behind the Cincinnati net before coming out to the top of the crease and wrapping it in. Cherniwchan was also credited with the second assist on the goal.
The Stingrays took a 2-0 advantage later in the period when Monardo finished off a nice passing play in front of the Cincinnati net for his 12th goal of the year. This time it was Cherniwchan who made the pass to Monardo and Flick picked up the second helper on the tally at 18:45.
But the Cyclones didn’t lay down and scored twice in the second period to even the game at 2-2. Goals were scored by Nick Huard at 7:33 and Seth Ambroz at 9:15 of the middle frame.
With the game even to start the third period, Cincinnati took their first lead of the night on a goal by Shawn O’Donnell at 6:11 to make it 3-2.
Although South Carolina found themselves behind with time running out, they didn’t panic and tied the contest at 3-3 on a power play strike by captain Joe Devin. While on a 4-on-3 advantage, Devin found the back of the net with a backhand shot from right in front of the net that deflected off the pad of Cincy goaltender Mark Visentin before going in. Flick and Kelly Zajac were credited with assists on the goal, which came at 14:47 of the third period.
Devin finished the regular season on a five-game point scoring streak and has been on the scoresheet in nine of his last 11 games since returning to the team after a stint in the American Hockey League with the Cleveland Monsters.
Zajac ends the regular season second on the team in scoring with 52 points on 13 goals and 39 assists.
Neither team was able to break the deadlock late in regulation and the contest headed to overtime.
Flick picked up the winner on a rebound in front after an initial shot by Marcus Perrier at 3:03 of the extra session. The goal was the forward’s 31st of the season, which leads the team.
The victory was South Carolina’s 10th overtime triumph of the campaign, tied for the most in the ECHL. Cherniwchan’s two-assist performance capped off a week in which he notched six total helpers in three games. In his last six contests, the Hinton, Alta. native has nine assists.
The Stingrays were 1-for-5 on the power play in the game, while Cincinnati finished scoreless at 0-for-2. South Carolina had the edge in shots on goal, 29-27.
Playoff ticket information will be announced in the coming days. Stay tuned to stingrayshockey.com and follow the Rays on social media for more information.