The South Carolina Stingrays returned to home ice to finish out the weekend against the Orlando Solar Bears after coming off of an overtime win in Atlanta last night. Jack Adams is also coming off a hat trick, including the overtime winner from Atlanta, and Josh Wilkins is coming off a two-goal night.
Both teams were slow to start on the ice, as neither had a dominant possession of the puck within the first ten minutes of play. Midway through the first, Jack Adams dropped off a beaut for Garet Hunt for a breakaway, igniting the crowd, including the four-legged ones in the crowd, for the first time. While Brandon Halverson deflected the attempt, fans had deja vu from Hunt’s first goal on a breakaway a week ago against the same opponent. It would be Leppard and Evans on a 2-1 breakaway that would get the Stingrays on the board, with Evans hitting the top shelf past Halverson.
Josh Wilkins would keep the goals rolling in the second as he got it off the face-off to put South Carolina up by two midway into the period. Luke Boka and Jackson Leppard would drop the mitts at center ice two minutes later, but it was short-lived as they were quickly brought down without even throwing a punch. Both would head to the doghouse for roughing. With two minutes left in the period, the Solar Bears would sneak their way past Mitchell Gibson finally, as Jereme Biakabutuka would send one from the blue line for Brayden Low to tip in.
With the third period underway and the Stingrays on the man advantage, Orlando quickly gained an advantage of the puck. Within the first 14 seconds of the period, Tyler Bird scored a shorthanded goal as Gibson had lost the puck, and it had slipped in on the shot.
Ivan Lodina put the Stingrays back on top for his first goal as a Stingray from a feed from Lukosevicius. Lodina put one through the armpit of Halverson to catch the net. The action didn’t stop there, as Adams backhanded Kielly, and he hit the goalpost, only to follow his own rebound to send it home, putting the Stingrays up 4-2. With 2:30 left in the game, Benton Maass was sent to the box with a double minor, putting the Rays in a potential 6-4 situation that the Solar Bears could take advantage of. The Rays held on until the whistle blew with 19 seconds left, as Michael Kim joined him in the box, making it 6 on 3. South Carolina continued the grit to end the game and take home the win.
They are back home next weekend to take on the Wichita Thunder for a three-game series, which includes a rebrand night as the South Carolina Sharks.