Gacek's First Strike Dooms Solar BearsNov 13, 2016
Alex Gacek’s first professional goal turned out to be the game-winner for the South Carolina Stingrays (5-5-1-0) in a come from behind 3-2 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears (5-5-1-0) on Sunday afternoon at the Amway Center.
Defenseman Colton Saucerman had two assists in the win, while goaltender Parker Milner turned aside 24 shots to earn his fourth consecutive victory for South Carolina. Forward Rob Flick also tallied his first goal of the year on a power play late in the second period.
The Solar Bears struck first just 1:21 into the game, securing a 1-0 lead on a goal by Denver Manderson on the team’s first shot of the game. Orlando took their one-goal lead into the first intermission, despite the Stingrays having a 9-5 edge in shots on goal.
The early lead held up until late in the middle frame for Orlando when South Carolina evened the game with a 5-on-3 power play tally. Saucerman found Flick who was open in between the circles, and the forward fired a wrist shot by goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo up high. Forward Kelly Zajac recorded the second assist on the goal for the Stingrays, his sixth helper of the year.
South Carolina then took the lead at 3:39 of the third on a goal by Marcus Perrier. The second strike of the season for the third-year Ray came while Perrier was playing defense during the afternoon contest. Perrier’s second goal of the year was assisted by Saucerman and forward Domenic Monardo.
Minutes later, after being unable to convert on a breakaway opportunity, Gacek provided a much-needed insurance goal for South Carolina, redirecting a pass from Patrick Gaul top shelf over Kaskisuo to make it 3-1. Rookie forward Steven McParland also factored in on the goal and was credited with the second assist.
Orlando got back into the game late, scoring an extra-attacker goal at 19:29 of the third on a shot by Eric Baier, but the comeback fell short for the Solar Bears.
South Carolina outshot Orlando 28-26 on the afternoon and converted the only power play goal of the day. The Stingrays finished 1-for-3 on the man-advantage, while the Solar Bears were held 0-for-5. Kaskisuo made 25 saves for Orlando in a losing effort.
The Stingrays now return home to the Lowcountry and will be back in action Thursday, November 17 when they host the Colorado Eagles at the North Charleston Coliseum. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m.
2016-17 Season Ticket Packages are on sale now featuring discounted pricing and great benefits! The club’s new 6 Game Plan features tickets to all the biggest games plus added benefits! For more information, fans may call the Stingrays' offices at 843-744-2248.