Jordan Klimek scored his first goal of the season with just 1:17 left to push the South Carolina Stingrays (9-1-0-0) past the Indy Fuel (6-5-0-0) by a final score of 4-3 on Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Klimek finished with a goal and an assist in the game, while his defensive partner Kristofers Bindulis also tallied a goal and an assist and captain Andrew Cherniwchan added two helpers. Goaltender Logan Thompson earned the win for South Carolina with 27 saves in the contest.
Indy took a 1-0 lead on a penalty shot goal by Graham Knott at 12:01 of the opening period.
The Rays evened things up at 1-1 on forward Mark Cooper’s fourth goal of the season from Tariq Hammond and Max Novak at 14:51 of the opening frame. Hammond’s initial shot from the left point was deflected by Cooper at the bottom of the left circle and by goaltender Charles Williams.
South Carolina took their first lead of the game at the start of the second period when forward Mitch Vanderlaan netted his second goal of the season from Bindulis and Cameron Askew to make it 2-1 at 2:45.
But the Fuel got even once again less than two minutes later at 4:34 when Bobby MacIntyre converted off a turnover and tied things up at 2-2.
Bindulis made it 3-2 Stingrays with his second goal of the season less than a minute later at 5:25 of the second from Klimek and Cherniwchan. The Riga, Latvia native blasted a shot from the top of the left point that beat Williams down low for the strike.
Once again, however, the Fuel wouldn’t go away and re-tied things up at 3-3 when Jake Ryczek beat Thompson at 14:36 of the second.
The game remained even all the way until the final minutes when Klimek knocked home a loose rebound in front off a shot by Cherniwchan at 18:43 of the third. Forward Matthew Weis earned the second assist on the game-winner.
Williams turned aside 38 shots in a losing effort for the Fuel. Both teams were unsuccessful on the power play, each coming up empty on three chances. South Carolina outshot Indy 42-30 in the game, including an 18-9 advantage in the third period.
The Stingrays host the team’s first-ever Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Saturday when they take on the Norfolk Admirals at 6:05 p.m. The club will raise awareness for all types of cancer & show support to those who have been affected by the disease. Tickets for the game are on sale now!