Andrew Cherniwchan scored the only goal in a 5-round shootout to give the South Carolina Stingrays (8-1-0-0) a 3-2 defeat of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (5-6-0-1) and their fifth straight win overall on Saturday night at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Logan Thompson got the start and made a season-high 31 saves before stopping all five of Greenville’s shootout attempts to earn the victory for the Stingrays. Defender Tom Parisi led the way with a goal and an assist for South Carolina, while Casey Bailey scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
The Rays are off to their best start since the 2013-14 season, when they began the year with an 8-0-1-0 record in their first nine games. SC now sits alone atop the South Division with 16 points on the year.
At 8:36 of the first, Parisi opened the scoring when he picked off a pass in the Greenville zone and fired a quick wrist shot under goaltender Ryan Bednard to put SC in front 1-0 with his fourth goal of the season.
Bailey added to the lead later in the frame, scoring off a feed from Mark Cooper and a second assist by Parisi to make it 2-0 at 17:13.
The lone goal of the middle frame was scored when Greenville’s Mason Baptista converted on a breakaway at 2:34 to cut the Stingrays lead to 2-1.
Then at 14:29 of the third, Chad Duchesne tied the contest at 2-2 with a one-timer from the low slot.
Neither team was able to break the deadlock in the final minutes of regulation or overtime despite numerous chances on both sides. A high-sticking penalty to SC’s Dan DeSalvo gave the Swamp Rabbts a man-advantage opportunity, but the Rays’ penalty kill was up to the task led by Thompson, who totaled seven saves in overtime.
After the first nine skaters came up empty to begin the shootout, Cherniwchan beat Bednard with a wrist shot over the glove in the bottom of the fifth round to secure the victory for the Stingrays. The team’s new captain was named the first star of the game for his efforts.
Bednard turned aside 30 shots for the second consecutive night in a losing effort for the Swamp Rabbits. South Carolina went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill, keeping Greenville’s power play off the board for the entire weekend. The Rays had just one man-advantage opportunity for themselves in the game and finished 0-for-1.
South Carolina returns home to North Charleston to begin a busy stretch when they battle the Indy Fuel on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.
South Carolina is hosting the team’s first-ever Hockey Fights Cancer Night this Saturday! 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 against the Norfolk Admirals are on sale now!