NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Tayler Thompson broke a scoreless tie in the second period and Chris LeBlanc added his first two goals of the 2019 postseason to lift the Orlando Solar Bears (3-1) to a 4-1 win over the South Carolina Stingrays (1-3) in Game 4 of the South Division Semifinals on Friday night at North Charleston Coliseum. Orlando can advance to the South Division Finals with a win in Game 5 on Saturday night in North Charleston.
Thompson netted his second goal of the playoffs to give Orlando a 1-0 lead at 2:45 of the middle frame when Mitch Hults intercepted a Stingrays breakout at the left circle and sent a drop pass through his legs to Thompson, who snapped a shot over the shoulder of Parker Milner.
LeBlanc tallied his first of the playoffs at 6:06 to make it 2-0 when he flipped the puck over to Troy Bourke at the left circle, and Bourke’s shot from the dot rebounded off the pads of Milner back over to LeBlanc at the right circle, where the forward was positioned to roof a shot past a lunging Milner.
LeBlanc got his second of the game at 12:03 when he teamed up with Jonne Tammela for a 2-on-1, and Tammela sent a pass from the left side to LeBlanc at the right post, who tapped home the goal to make it 3-0.
Jonathan Charbonneau got the Stingrays on the board at 10:49 of the third period, when Mason Mitchell’s shot rebounded away from Connor Ingram back into the slot, where Kevin McKernan dished the puck over to Charbonneau at the left post, who buried a shot past a sprawled Ingram.
Colby McAuley capped the scoring with an insurance goal for Orlando at 17:25 when Brent Pedersen delivered a hit on Stingrays defenseman Steve Johnson behind the net of Milner, and the puck popped out to McAuley for an easy tap-in at the right post for his first of the playoffs.
Ingram turned aside 26 of 27 shots he faced to pick up his third win of the playoffs; Milner took the loss with 27 saves on 31 shot against.
1) Chris LeBlanc – ORL
2) Connor Ingram – ORL
3) Parker Milner – SC
• The victory improves Orlando to 4-0 all-time on the road in the playoffs against South Carolina.
• Hults’ assist on Thompson’s goal gives Hults a three-game point streak (3g-1a).
• Pedersen’s assist on McAuley’s goal gives Pedersen a two-game point streak (1g-1a).
• Bourke’s assist on LeBlanc’s first goal gives Bourke a three-game assist streak (3a). He also led Orlando with seven shots on goal.
• Thompson’s goal was the second time in the postseason that the forward had broken a 0-0 tie to open the scoring for Orlando.
• Alexander Kuqali and Kevin Lohan led the team with a +4 rating, matching the franchise playoff single-game mark originally set by Hunter Fejes on May 4, 2018 vs. Florida.