The Stingrays were back in the North Charleston Coliseum for some Sunday hockey. With Michael Kim and Jonny Evans out of the lineup, Coach Brenden Kotyk had to make a few changes ahead of the match. Patrick Harper moved to the third line with captain Garet Hunt and Ryan Leibold, while Bryce Montgomery switched to the left side on the blue line.
Jackson Leppard got the party started on Undie Sunday to let them fly onto the ice, as Jack Adams headed down ice and pivoted to find Leppard in the slot to record his first of the season. Two minutes later, the Stingrays went on the power play where the O’Neil- Magera- Empy line continued to lay shots on Evan Fitzpatrick.
Halfway into the period. The Stingrays went on another power play as Alex Frye was called for a hook. With four seconds left, Patrick Harper was hauled into the box for a quick round of 4-4. No goals resulted from either of the penalties, but the Solar Bears quickly caught up in shots, giving Garin Bjorklund a nice two-minute workout.
The second period started off with a bang, with Tyson Empey heading into the box after a minute of play. Right off of the penalty kill, Ryan Leibold lit up the lamp with a wrap-around goal. Jack Adams took a nasty hit from Jimmy Mazza, setting off Jackson Leppard. The refs intervened quickly, letting the crowd down.
Turning to the other end of the ice, Mitchell Holscher hit the top shelf past Bjorklund from a cross-ice pass from Patrick Newell. South Carolina would kill the Jack Adams minor and prepare to go on their own man advantage halfway into the period. The home team would rally off six shots on goal.
The Solar Bears tied the game 30 seconds into the third period as Steven Jandric brought Bjorklund to the ice and snuck the puck past the left pad. Orlando took the lead as a goal from Patrick Newell struck three minutes after Jandric. Jackson Leppard got the crowd going, facing off in a scrap with Chris Harper, making him one assist away from a Gordie Howe hat-trick.
The top line made some noise as a quick sequence from Magera to O’Neil, who found Empy, who tied the game for the Stingrays. South Carolina would go on one more penalty kill, holding the Solar Bears to one shot and a tremendous block from Connor Moore, forcing overtime.
The coaching staff sent out Connor Moore, Austin Magera, and Kevin O’Neil to start off the extra minutes of play. Within the first 20 seconds, Kevin O’Neil danced with the puck, pulling Fitzpatrick and taking the delayed shot, securing South Carolina’s first home win. Hook, line, and sinker for O’Niel, who has had three, make that four points in the past three games.
The Stingrays take on Jacksonville on Wednesday. November 22, and return to home ice on Friday, November 24, to take on the Swamp Rabbits.