The South Carolina Stingrays (14-5-1-1) held on to beat the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (12-7-5-0) by a final score of 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum.
South Carolina jumped out to a lead at the 8:50 mark of the first period as Josh Wilkins netted his seventh goal of the season. On the power play, Greenville’s David Hrenak punched Wilkins’ shot that deflected off his own defender and into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
The Swamp Rabbits rebounded with a tally from Ayden MacDonald to tie the game at one goal apiece. MacDonald initiated a give-and-go with Tanner Eberle that MacDonald completed with a backdoor shot to beat Mario Culina.
Eberle added one of his own on the man advantage to give Greenville the 2-1 lead with four and a half minutes remaining in the first period. With three seconds left on the power play, Eberle set up in front of the net and deflected a shot from Bobby Russell for his eighth goal of the season.
Carter Allen evened the score with 32 seconds left in the opening frame, scoring his first professional goal. Allen pulled the puck away from a defender and flung a shot over the glove of Hrenak to tie the game at two goals apiece.
Under a minute into the second stanza, Bear Hughes netted his 12th goal of the season to regain the South Carolina advantage. Alex Fortin fed Hughes a cross-ice pass where the forward entered the attacking zone and fired a shot over the blocker of Hrenak for the 3-2 lead.
The Stingrays entered the third period on their second power play of the night and Anthony Del Gaizo wasted no time, burying his fifth goal of the season 36 seconds into the final frame. Del Gaizo fired a shot from the left circle off a feed from Carter Turnbull to give the Stingrays a 4-2 advantage.
Josh McKechney brought the Swamp Rabbits back within one with his second goal of the season. McKechney fired a shot from the left circle that ramped off a defender’s stick and in past Culina seven minutes into the final period of regulation.
South Carolina closed out the contest, allowing only five shots in the final period and holding on for the 4-3 win.
The Stingrays return to action this Tuesday, December 20th as they travel to Gas South Arena to take on the Atlanta Gladiators at 7:00 p.m.