By Craig Handel
ESTERO, Fla. – While Florida and South Carolina engaged in some high-scoring hockey affairs during the regular season, the Stingrays averaged more than four goals a game in beating Charlotte in the first round.
However, Florida players don’t think the series will be high scoring.
“I think they’ll sit back in a defensive shell and try and wait for their opportunities,” forward Ross Carlson said. “They’ll try to catch us in transition. They have some people who can move.”
Everblades forward Kevin Baker said, “We don’t want it to be run and gun. We want to play in their zone and keep the score down.”
This is the first time Florida and South Carolina have played since Feb. 7. The Everblades are 6-5-1 against the Stingrays.
South Carolina coach Jared Bednar and forward Travis Morin think specialty units will play a big role in the series.
“Florida has the second-best power play and second-best penalty kill,” Bednar said. “And we have pretty good special teams as well. It’s whoever can execute.”
Morin, who had three goals and seven assists in Round 1, said, “Our power play has been working pretty well. … A lot will depend on special teams.”