ECHL: South Carolina says “Au Revoir” to Trois Rivieres Lions and Savannah Ghost Pirates

South Carolina had a busy week, as they took on the Lions for Wednesday night hockey, faced the Ghost Pirates on Friday night, visited Greenville on Saturday, and turned around for another home game on Sunday.

Savannah Game

The Stingrays went on the early advantage in the first period as Ross Armour was hauled into the box. Nick Leivermann would send a rocket towards Michael Bullion and hit the crossbar, sending the crowd in an uproar as it appeared to bounce in and out of the net. The power play was killed, but Austin Magera would inevitably light the lamp first for South Carolina. As Savannah was attempting to push the puck out of the zone from behind the goal, Jack Adams was able to come from behind and lay the pick right on Magera’s stick, putting the Stingrays up 1-0. The lead would not last for long as the Ghost Pirates struck back three minutes later, as Jordan Kaplan was the open man to tie up the match. The Stingrays would again go on a man advantage late in the game and take a 2-1 lead. The Stingrays pulled Bullion out of the goal enough to slide the puck across the goal crease to an open Tyson Empey for an easy tap-in. 

The Ghost Pirates wasted no time on evening the score, as Simon Pinard found Vince Marleau to get past Mitchell Gibson. Patrick Harper regained the lead for South Carolina soon after, with Austin Magera and Jack Adams recording the assists. Josh Wilkins extended his point streak, scoring in the same spot as Harper. The play was under review for goalie interference but was ruled in the Rays’ favor. 

A delayed penalty was called as play resumed on the ice, sending Bullion to the bench. With a deflection from Gibson and the Ghost Pirates missing a pass, the puck was sent soaring down the ice undefended. Gibson was credited with the goal as their lead extended by three. The heat didn’t stop there, as the Carolina prospect Bryce Montgomery tallied his first career goal on a wrist shot on the corner. Savannah would begin the uphill battle back, as the Marleau-Pinard line would sneak another past Gibson. The Stingrays wanted to keep the four-goal lead, as a last-minute breakaway took off and was slowed down and set up to find Tyson Empey for his second of the night. 

The action didn’t slow down in the period, as the Ghost Pirates sent in Kaden Fulcher to replace Bullion between the pipes. Jack Adams went into the box for a hooking minor, and Vince Marleau would capitalize on the opportunity, marking his third on the night. Some roughhousing would take place in front of the Savannah net, sending Tyson Empey and Tanner Vescio to the box for roughing as the clubs went to four on four. Empey came out of the box on a revenge tour and had a 1-1 opportunity out of the box to get a shot off. Savannah would get another opportunity at a power play as Wilkins went to the box. Ryan Scarfo soon joined him for an interference call as the refs pulled him from the bench into the box. Savannah would chop at South Carolina’s lead right before the Scarfo penalty ended, making it 7-5. Fulcher would be pulled from the net with 3:45 left in the period. Connor Moore would score the second empty-net goal on the night and tally his second goal on the season. 

Trois Rivieres

The Stingrays were back in action against the Lions for the Teddy Bear Toss on Sunday. Mitchell Gibson will get the start in goal after backing up former Stingray’s goaltender, Clay Stevenson, in Hershey last night. 

Austin Magera made it rain bears in the Coliseum, as he was the first Ray to sting on the day. Tyson Emepy and Magera went on a two on two battle down the ice with the defensemen; as Empey shot, Magera was there for the rebound off of the pads to seal the deal on the first shot of the game. Anthony Beauregard would head to the box for a hook on Conner Moore. Not long after, Brycen Martin joined him in the box, putting the Stingrays on a two man advantage. 

The Stingrays started the second period on the man advantage, carrying over from the first period. Austin Magera wasted no time as he went top shelf 53 seconds into the period, tallying his second on the night. Anthony Beauregard headed to the box for his second minor of the match, this time for a slash, giving Kameron Kielly the opportunity to capture his first goal as a Stingray. South Carolina would get another man advantage with three minutes left in the period but would only get three shots off on Joe Vrbetic. 

The Lions finally got on the board in the third period with a power play goal from Cedric Montminy, Beauregard, and Miguel Tourginy, tallying the assists. Two minutes later, they would chop down the Stingrays, leading to one as Justin Ducharme would sneak one past Gibson.

The goalie would head to the bench with only one minute left in the game, as the Stingrays kept the puck within the zone for a good part of the last five minutes. A timeout would be called by Head Coach Ron Choules with 48 seconds remaining in the game, but it would not be enough.

The new additions to the Stingrays roster have slipped into the lineup nicely, each tallying at least a point since joining the club on Wednesday. The hot streak will need to keep rolling as they take on division rivals, the Flordia Everblades, this week in Estero and will not return home until December 15th. 

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