The South Carolina Stingrays (3-0-0) scored twice in the first and twice more in the second on Opening Night at the North Charleston Coliseum Saturday to knock off the Orlando Solar Bears (0-3-0-0) by a score of 4-2 for the second time this season.
Four South Carolina forwards had multi-point nights with Mark Cooper, Dan DeSalvo and Andrew Cherniwchan each registering a goal and an assist, while Max Novak earned two helpers. Goaltender Parker Milner picked up the win with a 21-save effort to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Cooper got the scoring started at 6:58 of the opening period when he tapped home a loose puck in the crease behind Orlando goaltender Spencer Martin to make it 1-0. Assists on the first goal of the night went to forward Cole Ully and Dan DeSalvo.
The Solar Bears evened the game at 1-1 later in the frame when Ryan Lohin scored at 15:27.
SC went back on top 2-1 just 1:10 after Orlando’s strike when Cam Askew netted his first tally of the year at 16:37. The goal, which was initially counted on the ice, was reversed to a good goal after the first replay review in South Carolina history. Helpers on the goal went to Novak and Dylan Steman.
The Rays extended their advantage to 3-1 early on in the second when DeSalvo pushed the puck into the net for his first goal of the season at 1:05. Cooper and Cherniwchan combined on the assists for South Carolina.
Cherniwchan extended the lead to 4-1 later on in the middle frame at 12:24, scoring his second goal in as many games with a wrist shot up high over Martin. Novak set up the play with the first assist, while defender Tom Parisi nabbed the second helper.
Orlando got a bit closer later in the frame at 15:30 when Chris LeBlanc netted his second of the season, beating Milner with a shot glove side to make it 4-2.
But the Solar Bears never got any closer and South Carolina allowed only five shots during the third period as their defense shut down all comeback attempts.
The Stingrays converted twice on the power play in the contest, finishing 2-for-6 on the man-advantage. Orlando was held quiet on the power play, only receiving two opportunities in the final frame and ended at 0-for-2. South Carolina out-shot the Solar Bears 38-28 in the contest. Martin turned aside 34 shots in a losing effort for Orlando.
The Stingrays hit the road next week for three games in Norfolk against the Admirals beginning on Wednesday night at 7:35 p.m.
South Carolina is back at home for three games in three days November 15, 16 and 17. Nov. 16 is the team’s first ever Hockey Fights Cancer Night! Tickets for all of the team’s upcoming 2019-20 home contests are on sale now via Ticketmaster.
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Photo Credit: Mike Wiser Photography