First, Stingrays forward Andrew Cherniwchan is suspended for tonight's game after his major kneeing penalty in Game 4.
I talked with a couple of the off-ice officials between periods last night and they don't think that the hit was intentional, but anytime there's a major penalty and a guy gets hurt, there's probably going to be a suspension. It's too bad, Cherniwchan has been fearless in both playoff series. He's a solid prospect for next season.
Second, defenseman Zach Tarkir's status for tonight's game is uncertain even this close to the drop of the puck. He will take part in pre-game warm-up and a decision will be made just before the opening faceoff. I don't have a feeling either way if he'll play or not.
Third, forward Greg Stewart is done for the rest of the series and mostly likely the playoffs. Stewart injured his knee in Game 3 on Wednesday night.
My guess is that Josh Turnbull will be in the lineup tonight. He's about the only forward available. If you didn't see the transactions on Friday, Rob Madore was released. Madore is still in town and can only return to the lineup if something happens to Daren Machesney.
What a Game 4 Friday night.
After a lackluster outing in Game 3, the Stingrays rebounded with one of their most complete performances of the playoffs.
If I'm K-Wings head coach Nick Bootland, I'd be scratching my head wondering how my team could have lost to the Stingrays. On paper, there's no way the K-Wings should have lost that game. The Rays skated the last two periods with two skaters down.
But one player made the difference and that was Machesney. He was outstanding in a crucial situation and after some travel issues.
I don't know if the Rays will win another game, but watching the way the team played Friday night in an elimination game was fun.
South Carolina vs. Kalamazoo
(Kalamazoo leads, 3-0)
Game 1: Kalamazoo 6, South Carolina 4
Game 2: Kalamazoo 4, South Carolina 1
Game 3: Kalamazoo 3, at South Carolina 0
Game 4: Kalamazoo at South Carolina (Friday, April 20, 7 p.m.)
*Game 5: Kalamazoo at South Carolina (Saturday, April 21, 7 p.m.)
*Game 6: South Carolina at Kalamazoo (Tuesday, April 24, 7:30 p.m.)
*Game 7: South Carolina at Kalamazoo (Wednesday, April 25, 7:30 p.m.)