Five different scorers and 35 saves from goaltender Zach Fucale gave the South Carolina Stingrays (2-0-1-0) a 5-1 victory over the Jacksonville Icemen (1-3-0-0) on Teddy Bear Toss Night Saturday at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Linemates Justin Florek, Mason Morelli and Andrew Cherniwchan each had multi-point nights for the Stingrays in the win, while Cole Ully and Dylan Steman also added tallies. For all of the five goal scorers, the tally was the first of the season.
Fucale, who is on an NHL contract with the Washington Capitals and was making his debut with South Carolina since being reassigned, was excellent for his new team all night.
Ully got the scoring started when Icemen goaltender Kyle Keyser misplayed the puck, giving the forward an empty net to shoot at for the only goal of the frame at 7:02. Assists on the tally went to defensemen Doyle Somerby and Tyler Nanne.
Florek added to the lead in the second, scoring his first of the year on a breakaway from defender Macoy Erkamps at 8:09.
In the third, Cherniwchan knocked home the Rays’ third goal of the night at 8:15 of the final frame from Morelli and defender Tariq Hammond.
Less than four minutes later, Morelli scored on the back door from Florek and Cherniwchan to make it 4-0 at 12:00 of the third.
The Icemen were able to get on the board when Mike Szmatula redirected a shot past Fucale at 13:37 to make it 4-1.
But South Carolina didn’t allow Jacksonville to get any closer and added a shorthanded empty-net strike from Dylan Steman at 18:48 of the third. Forward Max Novak had the lone assist on the final tally of the contest.
Keyser stopped 39 shots in a losing effort for the Icemen. The Stingrays had the edge in shots-on-goal during the contest, 44-36. Neither team was able to score on the power play, with Jacksonville finishing 0-for-6 and SC ending at 0-for-5.
The Stingrays return to action on Saturday, December 26 when they travel to Greenville for a 7 p.m. contest against the Swamp Rabbits. The following day on Sunday afteroon, SC will host Greenville at the North Charleston Coliseum at 3:05 p.m.
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