The Stingrays took on the Trois-Rivieres Lions for the first time since the 2021 season when the Stingrays finished the three-game series 2-1. The Lions are currently second in the Eastern Conference and first in the North Division. Three players made their debuts wearing the Stingrays sweater: Josh Thrower, Nick Leivermann, and Kameron Kielly. With the new additions, the club opted to play seven defensemen.
Patrick Harper heated up the cold low country temperatures in the first period as he danced around the zone and sunk one past Zachary Edmond. Four minutes later, Jon McDonald sent an absolute rocket from the point through traffic to record his first professional goal of his career. Thrower throws down in his first appearance as a Stingray after being traded from Norfolk, getting the weekday crowd pumped and on their feet.
The fun didn’t stop in the second period, with the Stingrays coming out strong off of the intermission. Bjorklund cleared the puck past the Trois Rivieres players, setting up Jackson Leppard, who found Benton Maass outside of the face-off circle to light up the lamp for the third time of the night.
The stripes finally called their first penalty of the night, putting South Carolina on the power play. The whistles kept coming, as they soon went on a two-man advantage as Bruce Martin was hauled into the box. Connor Moore landed a beautiful shot on goal as Jack Adams was screening and tipped it in on the backhand. The Lions would kill the remaining penalty and go back to full strength.
Garin Bjorklund had a hot glove this period, catching everything that came his way and stopping all six shots he faced in the period. With three minutes to go in the period, the Stingrays would again go on the man advantage. Alex- Oliver Voyer blew a tire, opening up the Rays to the perfect sequence. Leivermann to Kielly, who found Harper to record his second on the night.
John Parker-Jones was just having himself a night and started in on captain Garet Hunt. The pair went for a nice scuffle around the ice before heading to the locker room to finish the period. This would be Parker -Jones second fighting major of the game.
The Stingrays started the third period on the penalty kill as Benton Maass headed to the box after a buzzer roughing call from the second. 86 had a one-timer to get past Garin Bjorklund, putting the Lions on the board. The whistles started to go against the Rays, as Austin Magera would have two penalties four minutes within each other for a slash and a high stick. Tyson Empey would join Magera in the box after a front-of-the-net pile sent him and Nolan Yaremko packing for roughing minors. No goals would be scored on any of the penalties as the teams returned to full strength.
Kevin Oneil wanted a piece of the action, as he and Garet Hunt went on a 2-1 race down the ice. Oneil went top-shelf past the goaltender, with Josh Wilkins recording his second assist of the night and continuing his hot streak. Trois Riveres would try to make a last-ditch effort and scored with 27 seconds remaining, but it wouldn’t be enough to catch up to the Stingrays.