After a stunning first round upset over the highly favored and number one seeded Florida Everblades, the South Carolina Stingrays head to the 2021 ECHL Eastern Conference Finals to face their rival from the upstate, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.
How We Got Here
The number two-seeded Greenville Swamp Rabbits punched their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals with a dominant 3-1 series win over the three-seeded Indy Fuel, with their only loss coming in game three at home by a final score of 3-2. This was the first time in either team’s history that the two franchises have met in the postseason. This also marked Greenville’s first time back in the playoffs since 2017.
The fourth-seeded South Carolina Stingrays, on the other hand, punched their ticket to the Conference Finals with a shocking upset over the number one seeded Florida Everblades after taking the final two games of the series. South Carolina’s victory increases their postseason winning streak over the Everblades, who last beat the Rays in the 2005 playoffs en-route to the Kelly Cup Finals. South Carolina has since then taken the last four playoff series, going on to win the Kelly Cup in three of the four years so far.
How They Matchup
Greenville finished the regular season with a record of 38-19-15 for 91 points. South Carolina, on the other hand, finished the season with a record of 34-23-13 for 81 points, while recording six straight wins to close out the season and securing them the final playoff spot over the Orlando Solar Bears.
The two teams themselves met each other 11 times during the regular season, with Greenville holding a 7-2-2 record in those 11 matchups. Seven of those 11 games went to either overtime or a shootout to decide a winner. On paper, both teams are evenly matched, with both having close power play and penalty kill percentages.
This playoff matchup between the Stingrays and Swamp Rabbits will be the first ever in the Conference Finals and second ever postseason matchup, with the Stingrays taking down Greenville four-games-to-two throughout the 2016-17 regular season. One thing is for certain; we are in for an amazing Conference Finals matchup between two South Carolina teams ready to give it their everything.
The Battle of SC for a trip to the 2021 Kelly Cup Finals kicks off at the Carolina Ice Palace in North Charleston on Wednesday night and all games can be streamed using FloSports online.