Bear Hughes provided the game-winner for the South Carolina Stingrays (12-4-1-1) in a 4-3 overtime win over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (9-6-5-0) on Friday night at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Greenville jumped out to an early lead on Brannon McManus’ second goal of the season. Alex Ierullo sent a slow-moving shot on net that McManus’ pulled away from a diving Tyler Wall and flipped into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
Early in the second period, South Carolina evened the score on Michael Kim’s fourth tally of the year at the 29-second mark. Kim received a pass from Gavin Gould at the point where the defenseman fired a missile on net to tie the game at one goal apiece.
Chaz Reddekopp followed up Kim’s goal with his first marker of the season 50 seconds later. Josh Wilkins fed Reddekopp who crashed to the left circle and lifted the puck over the glove of Greenville’s David Hrenak to take the 2-1 lead.
Greenville answered the pair of Stingrays’ goals with two markers of their own to close out the middle frame. At the 4:51 mark of the second period, Chase Zieky deflected a shot from Frank Hora past Wall to tie the game at two goals each with his fourth tally of the season on the power play.
Just over two minutes later, Tanner Eberle lifted an off-balance shot over the glove of Wall to regain the 3-2 lead for Greenville on the subsequent power play. Eberle’s seventh goal of the season was set up by a pass from Anthony Beauchamp.
Wilkins knotted the contest at three goals apiece just under eight minutes into the third period with his fifth tally of the season. Hrenak turned back a shot from Kevin O’Neil, laying out a rebound for Wilkins to fling into the net tie game.
The teams needed extra time to decide a winner as Hughes netted his 11th goal of the season to cap off the comeback. Carter Turnbull split a pair of defenders and sent a no-look pass to Hughes who slid the shot between the legs of Hrenak for the 4-3 win.
The Stingrays return to action tomorrow, December 10th, as the team heads to Greenville for the final game of a home-and-home series against the Swamp Rabbits at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m.