By Andrew Miller
The Post and Courier
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – As the buzzer sounded to end the second period of Game 2 in South Carolina’s opening-round playoff series with Charlotte, Stingrays winger Maxime Lacroix had seen enough.
In a rare show of emotion, the normally reserved Lacroix slammed his stick against the glass after referee Ryan Sweeney assessed the rookie with a minor boarding penalty. Sweeney added a 10-minute misconduct and Lacroix stewed in the penalty box for half of the third period.
The game had long been decided before Lacroix’s outburst at the end of the second period. The Stingrays would make a small comeback, but lose the game, 5-3, and find themselves trailing 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
“I think those were two of the most frustrating games of my life,” Lacroix said. “We were trying to play physical. We were trying to be intense, and it seemed like every time we went into the boards, we would come out with a penalty. My game is about battling in the corners and winning those one-on-one battles, but I was trying to do too much. I was trying to hit everyone through the walls and I wasn’t being very disciplined.
“I wasn’t playing my game. I wasn’t playing the way I was capable of playing, and we were losing, and that was the toughest part. If we had been winning, it still wouldn’t have been good, but I could have lived with it. I knew we had more talent than Charlotte and should have been up 2-0 instead of down 0-2.”