Tim Harrison scored his first professional hat trick and Dan DeSalvo netted the game-winning goal with just 1:04 remaining in the third period as the South Carolina Stingrays (21-2-3-0) came from behind to defeat the Jacksonville Icemen (9-13-4-0) by a final score of 4-3 on Saturday night at the Veterans Memorial Arena.
The win pushed South Carolina’s point streak to 13 straight games. The team is in first place in the ECHL standings with 45 points and a winning percentage of 0.865. Forward Dylan Steman had his second multi-point game of the season with two assists and goaltender Logan Thompson secured his second straight victory against Jacksonville with 28 saves.
The Icemen took an early 1-0 lead just 1:06 into the first when Mike Hedden converted on a breakaway opportunity that set the team’s Teddy Bear Toss into motion. At 12:16 of the frame, Pierre-Luc Mercier made it 2-0 with his third goal of the season for Jacksonville.
Harrison got the Rays on the board before the end of the first at 18:17, scoring off the rush from Steman and Jonathan Charbonneau to make it 2-1.
At 9:37 of the second Harrison tied the game when he was left open in front of the net and banged home a pass from Steman to even the game at 2-2.
Then just 1:37 into the third, Harrison completed the natural hat trick and gave the Stingrays their first lead of the night at 3-2 when he converted on a breakaway, shooting low underneath goaltender Adam Carlson after he was sprung free by a pass from Jordan Klimek.
Harrison’s natural hat trick came just one night after DeSalvo scored three goals of his own. Coming into the contest, the third-year pro had just one goal during the 2019-20 season.
But Jacksonville didn’t go quietly and were able to even the game back up at 3-3 when Wacey Rabbit scored at 14:12 of the final frame.
Minutes later, DeSalvo put South Carolina back in front 4-3 with his 12th tally of the season at 18:56 from linemates Mark Cooper and Max Novak.
Carlson took the loss for Jacksonville after making 32 saves in the game. South Carolina outshot the Icemen 36-31 while each team had just one power play opportunity, both ending at 0-for-1 on the man-advantage.
The Stingrays return from their holiday break on Thursday night when they battle the Atlanta Gladiators on the road at the Infinite Energy Center at 7:05 p.m. South Carolina is back at home in North Charleston on Dec. 28 for a matchup with Orlando at 6:05 p.m.