Stingrays Fall Short To Greenville 5-4Dec 2, 2016
After losing an early lead and falling behind in the second period, the South Carolina Stingrays (8-8-1-0) had a late-game comeback fall short and dropped Friday night’s game to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (9-5-2-0) 5-4 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
South Carolina finished the game with 46 shots on net and got goals from four different skaters in the loss. Forward John Parker had a goal and an assist, while forward Rob Flick scored his fifth goal of the year and extended his season-high point scoring streak to seven games.
South Carolina opened the scoring when Dylan Margonari got his first professional goal at 11:09 of the opening period to make it 1-0. The initial shot was taken by defenseman Max Nicastro and Margonari buried the rebound. Parker was credited with the second assist on the goal.
The Stingrays increased their lead less than two minutes later with Flick’s goal at 12:55. The forward brought the puck behind the net and moved between the circles to the slot before unleashing a powerful wrister that beat Greenville goaltender Jeff Malcolm blocker side to make it 2-0. Defenseman Steve Weinstein and forward Kelly Zajac picked up assists on the goal.
But the Swamp Rabbits fought back in the middle period, scoring three straight times to take the lead. Chad Duchesne’s first of the year sent the teddy bears flying for Greenville at 6:03, before Michael Joly tied the game at 2-2 with his sixth of the year at 9:34.
Spiro Goulakos gave Greenville their first lead of the night 1:07 later at 10:41 and the Swamp Rabbits took a 3-2 advantage into the locker room for the second intermission.
With the Rays on the power play early in the final period, Parker and Patrick Gaul executed a perfect give-and-go play in front of the net that resulted in Parker’s third tally of the season to even the game at 3-3.
However Greenville grabbed the lead back on Tommy Thompson’s third goal of the year at 8:11 and then jumped out to a 5-3 edge when Joly scored his second goal of the game at 14:22.
Down a pair, South Carolina refused to relent in their pursuit of getting back in the game, getting all kinds of chances in the Greenville end. Captain Joe Devin scored his fifth goal of the season at 16:36 to make it 5-4, putting home a loose rebound after an initial shot by defenseman Joey Leach. Nicastro was credited with the second assist on the goal.
After more chances for South Carolina, the game came down to a face-off with 4.5 seconds left on the clock in the Greenville end. Using a timeout by head coach Ryan Warsofsky, the Stingrays won the draw and got the puck to Nicastro, who fired a blast towards the net that was saved by the glove of Malcolm for his forty-second and final stop of the night.
Stingrays’ netminder Parker Milner took the loss in the contest, making 23 saves in the game. South Carolina was 1-for-3 on the power play and held Greenville off the board (0-for-3) with the man-advantage.
The Stingrays will stay in Greenville for two more matchups with the Swamp Rabbits. The teams rematch on Saturday night at 7 p.m. before finishing their weekend series on Sunday at 3 p.m. South Carolina returns to the North Charleston Coliseum Dec. 9 when they also battle Greenville at 7:05 p.m.
2016-17 Season Ticket Packages are on sale now featuring discounted pricing and great benefits! The club’s new 5 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 or visit StingraysHockey.com.