Eddie Wittchow didn’t score on his first chance in overtime, but he made his second opportunity count to give the South Carolina Stingrays (37-10-3-1) a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (24-25-3-1) during Superhero Night on Saturday at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Cole Ully led the way on the offensive end for the Rays with a goal and two assists in the victory, while defensemen Wittchow and Tom Parisi each had a goal and an assist and forward Matthew Weis earned two assists.
South Carolina continues to hold first place in the ECHL as well as the South Division standings with 78 points.
After allowing a late goal with under two minutes left in the third, Parisi responded to tie the game at 3-3 just 44 seconds later off a feed from Weis.
Greenville scored a pair of early goals in the first period to take an initial 2-0 lead and held the advantage until the third. Their opening strike came from Cameron Heath at 7:29, while Mason Baptista doubled the edge at 8:51 of the first frame.
South Carolina got within one early in the second and then continued to dominate the action in the period but was unable to get any closer in the middle stanza. Ully netted the Stingrays' first goal of the game at 2:45 to make it 2-1 by knocking the puck out of the air for his ninth tally of the year. Assists on the play went to Wittchow and Weis.
The Rays went on to outshoot Greenville 21-9 in the second but were unable to get anything else past Jeremy Helvig at that point and the game remained 2-1 as the teams headed to the third.
Cherniwchan finally evened the game up at 2-2 with his fourth goal of the week and 24th tally on the season from Ully and Parisi at 15:10. After an initial chance by Parisi went wide of the net, Ully got a stick on the puck to knock it back in front of the cage and Cherniwchan knocked it past the line and into the net.
But the Swamp Rabbits re-took the lead on a goal by Cedric Lacroix at 18:29 of the third, backing the Rays into a corner before Parisi came to the rescue with his 11th goal of the year at 19:13 from Weis and defenseman Tariq Hammond.
The late tying goal came after Mark Cooper won a race to negate an icing call in the Greenville end. SC kept the puck in the zone and Weis found Parisi for a one-timer that tied the game at 3-3.
With their new found life, the Stingrays came through to get the extra point on Wittchow’s fourth goal of the season at 2:19 of overtime. The game-winner also had an assist by Ully.
Both teams came up empty on the power play in the contest with Greenville going 0-for-3 and South Carolina finishing 0-for-5. The Stingrays outshot the Swamp Rabbits 47-27 in the game, with Helvig stopping 43 shots in a losing effort for Greenville.
South Carolina will complete their week with a Sunday afternoon matchup in Jacksonville against the Icemen at 3:05 p.m.