Rays End 2015 With 5-3 Win in Orlando

Dec 29, 2015

12/29/2015 7:51 PM -

ORLANDO, F.L.-The South Carolina Stingrays power play came up big when they needed it to on Tuesday night. Paul Rodrigues scored the game-winning goal on the man-advantage at the 13:00 mark of the third period to earn the Stingrays a 5-3 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears at the Amway Center. The victory was South Carolina's fourth at the Amway Center this season and fifth overall win against Orlando. 

It didn't take long for the Stingrays to find the back of the net Tuesday. Jared Staal scored on an Orlando turnover just seven seconds into the game to give the Stingrays a 1-0 lead. Mark Louis fanned on a pass and Stall snapped a wrist shot that fluttered over goaltender Rob Madore's glove.

The two teams would trade goals with Colin Mulvey scoring from the slot at 4:16 of the opening frame, and Max Nicastro blowing a slap shot past Stingrays goaltender Branden Komm at 6:05 to make it 2-1 Stingrays. However, just 1:01 after Nicastro's goal, South Carolina had a response again. Andrew Rowe scored a beautiful goal, beating two defenders to the puck, and executing a spinning shot that beat Madore through the five-hole at 7:06 to make it 3-1 Stingrays. 

Down by two entering the second period, the Solar Bears evened the score. Nicastro scored a nearly identical goal to his first tally only 1:33 into the game's middle frame to make it 3-2 Stingrays. 

Madore would stand tall and stop Rowe on a penalty shot at 5:43 to keep it just a one-goal game, and his teammate Brady Vail would reward him at 12:51. A broken play saw the forward collect a loose puck from the right side and beat Komm with a shot to make it 3-3. 

With the game tied entering the third period, Rodrigues broke the deadlock with the power play goal with seven minutes left in regulation. Forwards David Pacan and Marcus Perrier jammed the Solar Bears net looking for a rebound. Madore stopped several shots, but a third opportunity popped to Rodrigues on the right side. The puck hit the forward in the leg and rolled in for the eventual game-winning goal.

Nick Jones would add an empty net goal with 1:06 remaining to preserve the win. Komm improved to 6-0-0-0 with the victory, stopping 21 shots. The Stingrays fired a season-high 42 shots, outshooting Orlando 42-24.

South Carolina returns home to open 2016 with a pair of games versus Cincinnati this weekend. Saturday's game features an appearance from the Zooperstars! and starts at 7:05 p.m. Sunday is a jam-packed afternoon, with a 3:05 puck drop. It's a Youth Replica Jersey Giveaway to the first 1,000 kids, and the game features $5 Kids Tickets and $5 Kids Meals. Also, fans may stick around for a Postgame Skate with the Rays.

Tickets to both games are available via Ticketmaster or the North Charleston Coliseum Box Office.

Do not miss a second of the action! 2015-16 Stingrays Ticket Plans are still on sale NOW! Save money off of box office prices and get great benefits like FREE parking, Buddy Passes, discounts off of merchandise, advanced ticket purchases to North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center events and more!  Visit StingraysHockey.com for more info. 

Become a “Fan” of the Stingrays on Facebook at Facebook.com/SCStingraysHockey and join the conversation on Twitter at Twitter.com/SCStingrays

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